Despite the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays being a time when gas prices historically increase, petroleum here is up only slightly--and seems to be leveling below the three-dollar mark. Currently, there are equal bearish and bullish pressures that have kept oil prices within the same price range for the past couple of weeks, and it is felt this trend will continue until the New Year.
"Although gas prices are forecast to remain relatively stable throughout the month, if a plan is announced to resolve the nation’s debt issues, we could see gas prices inch back up,” said Jessica Brady, AAA spokeswoman, The Auto Club Group. "Gas prices are still about 10 cents higher than year-ago levels."
History has shown once December 31 arrives, the market tends to rally on economic optimism for the New Year. The rally usually causes both oil and gas prices to increase at the start of January.
A barrel of oil closed Friday at $88.91 on the New York Mercantile Exchange—63 cents more than the week prior.
Despite fears of shortages of Middle Eastern supplies, U.S. useage is down dramatically as a result of Hurricane Sandy's devestation in 25 states. Increased sales of hybrid and electric vehicles are also starting to be felt in less petroleum being burned in America.
Knowledgable sources already indicate that U.S. oil production could make us totally independent from Middle Eastern gas, however the majority of our gas is being sent overseas. And most of that goes to China.
Here in Murfreesboro, retailers are pricing petroleum from a little less than $3.00 to a high around $3.50. Murphy Oil on Memorial at Thompson Lane offered the lowest price at $2.96 per gallon. Thirtreen locations across Murfreesboro had regular gas at $2.97 to $2.99.
The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.39, 4 cents less than last week. Florida’s average of $3.37 decreased 2 cents from last week. Both Georgia’s average price of $3.28, and Tennessee’s average of $3.17 remain the same as last week.