Georgia gas prices are on the decline about three cents this week as energy prices on the stock market took a dive, with Sunday's statewide average of $2.46.
AAA and GasBuddy.com agree that prices declined between three and 3.9 cents over the past week. The national average has also fallen 3.5 cents to $2.57.
AAA reports prices have averaged the highest for the month of February since 2014. "Gas prices have the potential to drop 10-15 cents, based on what happened last week," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman for AAA. "However, refinery maintenance season is fast approaching and could spoil this big break for motorists. Every year - from February to April - reduced refinery output and the switch to summer-blend gasoline normally causes gas prices to rise 30-70 cents. Additional drops in oil prices would help soften the impact maintenance season has on prices at the pump. Expect volatility at the pump as these forces collide."
Prices are 25 cents per gallon higher than this day last year, and 2.8 cents per gallon higher than a month ago, according to GasBuddy.
"The wait is over- 2018's first weekly drop at gas pumps has arrived with the national average losing ground in the last week. As the Dow Jones average swung violently, oil prices lost considerable ground, falling below $60 per barrel for the first time this year. In addition, a weekly report from the government showed a trifecta of inventory increases: crude oil, gasoline and distillate inventories all gained, pushing wholesale gasoline prices down and paving the way for gas prices to cool off," said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. "These factors have opened the door for perhaps a brief window of relief at the pump that may last for several weeks. I'd expect most places would see gas prices decline in the week ahead as a direct result. But don't get too giddy- there are still some gray clouds on the horizon."
AAA agreed, noting the downturn for energy prices began on Wednesday, when the EIA's weekly report revealed significant gains in domestic production and inventories. Domestic oil production surged to 10.25 million barrels per day - a new record for weekly production. This was the first time U.S. output exceeded 10 million barrels a day since 1970. This was also the second consecutive week of crude oil inventory gains after declining for 11 weeks in a row. AAA said the inventory growth was one of the main reasons for the oil price drop.
On the coast, Brunswick and Savannah had the highest gas prices in the state at $2.50 and $2.49 per gallon, respectively. Dalton, Augusta-Aiken and Warner Robins had the lowest averages in the state at $2.40, AAA reports. GasBuddy reports prices in Atlanta touched $2.47.