NASHVILLE — Tennessee motorists are finding the lowest prices at the gas pump since April.
The state average price for a gallon of regular unleaded fell 5 cents last week to $2.56, 17 cents less than this year's high but 28 cents more than this time last year, AAA reported. The state average declined for the 24th consecutive day on Sunday for a total discount of 14 cents.
“Tennesseans are saving 20 cents per gallon, compared to when gas prices peaked during Memorial Day weekend,” said Mark Jenkins, AAA spokesman, in a press release. “Gasoline is becoming less expensive to produce and sell thanks to lower crude prices and cheaper-to-produce winter blend fuel.
“Retail prices have not quite caught up with declines on the wholesale side, so motorists should see another round of discounts this week. However, fuel prices definitely have the potential to reverse course based on any fluctuations in the stock market due to Election Day and the activation of U.S. sanctions against Iranian crude. Regardless, AAA believes the highest prices of the year are behind us.”
• Kingsport-Bristol: $2.54
• Johnson City: $2.57
Most expensive gas prices in the state
• Nashville ($2.62)
• Morristown ($2.58)
• Jackson ($2.58)
Least expensive gas prices in the state
• Cleveland ($2.46)
• Chattanooga ($2.48)
• Knoxville ($2.52)
Crude prices fall
Crude oil prices are also hovering near seven-month lows, AAA reported. On Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) settled at $63.14 per barrel, nearly $4.50 less than the week before and the lowest daily settlement since April 6.
The weekly average price for U.S. crude has declined the last four weeks. Before then, crude prices faced upward pressure amid growing concerns that U.S. sanctions against Iranian crude would cause a global supply shortage. However, those concerns are being quelled by increased production from countries like the United States, Saudi Arabia and Russia, according to AAA.
U.S. sanctions against Iran
Friday, the Trump Administration announced the U.S. would re-impose sanctions on Iran that were lifted in 2015 under the Obama administration. The sanctions, which went into effect Monday, target the Iranian energy sector and impede Iran’s ability to sell oil, AAA reported.
According to the Energy Information Administration, Iran ranks as the world’s fourth-largest reserve holder of oil. Iran also ranks among the world’s top 10 oil producers, producing almost 4.7 million barrels per day of petroleum and other liquids in 2017.
While Iran is an oil powerhouse, Saudi Arabia (nine percent) and Iraq (six percent) are the top two OPEC countries exporting to the U.S. and two of the top five countries overall that sell oil to the U.S.
To view daily gas price averages, visit GasPrices.AAA.com.