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Jul-09-2014 09:11printcomments

Oregon, Salem Gas Prices Should Begin to Move Downward

Four states continue to be in the $4-per-gallon club: Hawaii ($4.33), Alaska ($4.22), California ($4.14) and Washington State ($4.01). Oregon has the fifth highest gas prices in the country at $3.98.

Oregon Gas Prices
In Salem, the average price on Wednesday was $ 3.96, the same average price as one week ago. Salem-News.com File Photo

(PORTLAND, Ore. ) - Crude oil and wholesale gasoline prices are ticking down, but drivers across the country continue to pay the highest prices for gas since 2008.

The national average for regular unleaded falls two cents this week to $3.65 a gallon. Oregon’s average is holding steady at $3.981, which is just three-tenths of a cent less than the year-to-date high of $3.984 set on July 3. In Salem, the average price on Wednesday was $ 3.96, the same average price as one week ago.

AAA Oregon/Idaho Public Affairs Director Marie Dodds says, “Violence in Iraq continues to keep crude oil prices elevated, but the fear of a disruption to supply is easing somewhat because production in the south of that country has not been affected.”

Four states continue to be in the $4-per-gallon club: Hawaii ($4.33), Alaska ($4.22), California ($4.14) and Washington State ($4.01). Oregon has the fifth highest gas prices in the country at $3.98.

With Independence Day in the rearview mirror, this year’s holiday registered the highest prices since 2008 at the pumps. The national average was $3.66 on July 4, while Oregon’s average was $3.98.

These prices surpassed the price per gallon for the holiday from each of the previous five years, but were still well below the all-time-highs for the date in 2008 when the national average was $4.10 and Oregon’s was $4.29.

Oregon is one of 38 states where prices have dropped over the last week, led by a handful of Midwestern states where prices are down four to 10 cents. Oregon’s average is only one-tenth of a cent lower than it was a week ago.

With high wholesale gasoline prices beginning to subside in many parts of the country, AAA expects pump prices for many U.S. drivers to continue to ease over the next couple of weeks. AAA expects prices to drift lower, with a few small upticks, for the rest of the summer, barring major storms, unplanned refinery outages or political unrest.

Crude oil prices remain above $100 per barrel, but prices are slightly lower this week. Market watchers are keeping a close eye on the situation in Iraq, but the risk premium that had pushed oil prices to 2014 highs has subsided in recent trading sessions.

t the close of Monday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled 53 cents lower at $103.53. Today WTI is trading around $103 compared to $105 a week ago. Crude prices are down about one percent over the last month, and are about the same as they were a year ago.

This week there are four states with regular unleaded at or above $4 a gallon, same as last week: Hawaii, California, Alaska and Washington. For the 24th week in a row, there are no states with an average below $3 per gallon, and no states within a dime of this mark for the 20th week in a row.

Hawaii has the most expensive gas in the country for the 89th consecutive week at $4.34, followed by Alaska at $4.22, California at $4.14 (same price as last week and third for the second week in a row), Washington at $4.01 (same price as last week and fourth most expensive for the fifth consecutive week), and Oregon at $3.98 (same price as last week and fifth for the second week in a row).

Idaho is 16th up from 19th last week at $3.74 (up three cents). South Carolina has the cheapest gas in the country for the third week in a row at $3.37 a gallon (down two cents).

Diesel prices are holding steady or ticking down in most markets. The national average remains at $3.90 a gallon this week. Oregon’s average slips a penny to $3.97. Diesel is at or above $4 a gallon in 12 states (including the District of Columbia), same as last week. Hawaii is most expensive at $4.85, followed by Connecticut at $4.34, Alaska at $4.29, New York at $4.28, and California at $4.17 (same price as last week).

Washington is seventh for the third week in a row at $4.08 (down a penny). Idaho is 15th up from 18th at $3.98 (same price as last week). Oregon is 18th down from 17th last week. A year ago, the national average for diesel was $3.82 and Oregon's was $3.87.

Oregon Average Gas Prices:

Salem: $3.96 - Same as one week ago

Portland: $4.04 - Up One Cent

Eugene: $4.05 - Down Two Cents

Albany: $3.99 - Same as one week ago

Corvallis: $3.96 - Down One Cent

Medford: $4.00 - Same as one week ago

Newport: $4.03 - Up One Cent

McMinnville: $3.97 - Same as one week ago

Bend: $4.02 - Same as one week ago

Ashland: $4.12 - Up Two Cents

The Dalles: 4.01 - Up Two Cents

Source: AAA Oregon/AAA Fuel Gauge Report

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