August 18, 2022

Worries that a slowdown in the global economy could dent the world’s appetite for crude pushed oil futures below $100 a barrel on Tuesday for the first time in almost two months. If that continues, motorists could see a potential savings of up to 65 cents per gallon in the weeks ahead, one expert said.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, benchmark U.S. crude oil for August delivery fell $8.93 to $99.50 a barrel Tuesday, its first dip below $100 since May 11. Brent crude for September delivery fell $10.73 to $102.70 a barrel.

Tuesday’s sharp decline in oil prices follows a steady decline in U.S. gas prices from record highs set in June, with regular gasoline now selling for less than $5 a gallon at a majority of U.S. stations. If crude stays at that level, American motorists could see a potential price dip at the pump of between 40 to 65 cents per gallon in the weeks ahead, GasBuddy analyst Patrick De Haan tweeted on Tuesday. 

That could provide some relief for consumers, who are facing thousands of dollars in additional expense this year due to the surge in gas prices. 

The national average for a gallon of gas on Tuesday stood at $4.80, down 8 cents over the last week in a price decline AAA attributes mostly to fewer people fueling up over the past two weeks. 

The lull, however, may not last much longer, according to the motor club.

“Domestic gasoline demand dipped recently, which took some of the pressure off pump prices. About 80% of stations are now selling regular for under $5 a gallon,” Andrew Gross, a spokesperson for AAA said Tuesday in a statement. “July is typically the heaviest month for demand as more Americans hit the road, so this trend of easing prices could be short-lived.”

— The Associate Press contributed to this report

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