Gas Prices At Record Lows

Gas Prices At Record Lows

Kerrigan Batsa, Staff Writer

Drivers throughout the country have seen a major drop in gas prices. The national average for a gallon of regular gas is now below $3, the lowest since October 2010. Every winter there is a fall in gas prices to begin with.

In the winter, people tend to drive less due to the weather. Due to the lack of travel, there is less of a demand for gasoline, lowering the prices. This pattern has been observed steadily every year since 2007.

The gas refined in the winter is cheaper to make. This is because there’s a larger percentage of butane used in the making of gasoline as the government eases off on the clean-air standards for oil refineries during the winter. Butane is cheaper to use, but it also provides less energy. This decreases the MPG of a car by 2-8%.

This year however, there has been a noticeable decline in gas prices for two main reasons.

Storms in the Gulf of Mexico shut down and damage oil rigs that are critical to the U.S. This past year there have only been two major storms – hurricanes Ingrid and Humberto – neither of which impacted oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.

At the end of 2013, Libya’s oil production was at it’s lowest, less than 200,000 barrels of oil per day. For almost a year prior, Libya’s major eastern oil ports were unable to export oil due to a blockade placed by the Petroleum Facilities Guard. This blockade was recently lifted after deals were made to reopen the ports in April and June of 2014.

Gas prices are predicted to keep falling, where they will eventually bottom out and begin rising again in the spring.