Oklahomans see lowest gas prices since 2010

EDMOND, Okla. — Oklahomans are seeing some of the lowest gas prices since 2010, falling 26 cents since June 27. But events occurring in the Middle East and in Ukraine could reverse the trend, the auto club AAA reports.

The state’s average retail price for a gallon of regular gasoline with ethanol added Tuesday — $3.267 — is the lowest price for this date since 2010, when it stood at $2.65. The state’s average has fallen 26 cents since June 27, according to FuelGaugeReport.AAA.com.

AAA Oklahoma spokesman Chuck Mai, of Edmond, said it appears as long as refinery production remains strong and crude oil prices don’t rise due to wild-card issues, gasoline prices will likely cost less this month than in recent years.

“Right now, the most serious threats to prices are violence in the Middle East and possible hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico,” Mai said.

Another potential trend-breaker are the sanctions the U.S. and European nations announced last week targeting Russia’s long-term ability to develop new oil resources in response to what’s happening in Ukraine, Mai said.

The sanctions could eventually impact the global supply of crude by denying exports of oil industry equipment and restricting Russian state-owned banks from accessing European capital markets, Mai said.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices settled 41 cents higher Monday at $98.29 per barrel, marking a slight increase from Friday’s nearly six-month low of $97.88 per barrel, Mai said. It was the first time WTI has settled below $100 per barrel on three straight days since the start of May, Mai said.

Developments from Israel being attacked by Hamas and events in Ukraine have been fluid.

Tuesday, Israel agreed to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire proposal, that went into effect at 8 a.m. In a news release posted on its website, the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated the Israel Defense Forces has destroyed 32 cross-border underground tunnels built for use by Hamas militants.

All ground troops will have pulled out of the Gaza Strip by the start of the ceasefire, but the IDF will maintain defensive positions near the Gaza border, the government stated. Since the start of Operation Protective Edge 28 days ago, 3,360 rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza, the Israeli government says.

As of Tuesday, the Palestinian Government — the Mission of Palestine — says 1,865 Palestinians have been killed, 9,563 have been wounded and 475,000 people have been displaced.

Monday, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen discussed the impact of the Ukraine crisis on the Alliance’s collective security at Allied Command Operations headquarters in Mons, Belgium.

In a news release posted on NATO’s website, Rasmussen said NATO “stands determined” to defend all Allies against any threat.

“We are at a crucial point in history,” Rasmussen said. “As we remember the devastation of World War I, our peace and security are once again being tested, now by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.”

August and July are generally the busiest driving months of the year, according to data collected by the Federal Highway Administration. Last August, U.S. drivers drove an estimated 266.9 billion miles.


©2014 The Edmond Sun (Edmond, Okla.)

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