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Gas pump prices fall as oil drops below $98

Gas pump prices fall as oil drops below $98

Oil prices dropped again on Monday, and American drivers are starting to see a little relief at the gas pump just ahead of the summer driving season.
The average price for a gallon of regular was $3.955 nationally (just below a dollar a liter). That's down about 3 cents from Friday, but still nearly 14 cents more than it was a month ago, according to AAA, Wright Express and the Oil Price Information Service.
Oil prices rocketed up 34 percent from mid-February through early May on fears that supplies could be disrupted because of uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa. Those fears have begun to abate as supplies continue to flow from the oil-rich region.
Traders also are more optimistic that Mississippi River flooding will not seriously interfere with operations at Gulf Coast refineries. The Army Corps of Engineers opened two massive gates at the Morganza spillway last weekend in an effort to protect Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and New Orleans from floodwaters.
Tom Kloza, publisher and chief oil analyst at OPIS, predicted pump prices will range between $3.25 a gallon (3.79 liters) and $3.75 a gallon by mid-June.
He said prices may have reached their high for the year already, if no big hurricanes hit refining centers, and upheavals in the Middle East do not crimp oil supplies.
Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research, estimated gas prices will fall to about $3.50 a gallon (3.79 liters) by summer.
Oil fell along with gasoline futures contracts on Monday, as concerns eased about flooding disrupting refineries and supplies. Jim Ritterbusch, president of energy consultancy Ritterbusch and Associates, noted that gasoline futures are lower with demand down because of high pump prices.
Benchmark oil for June delivery fell $1.80 to $97.85 a barrel in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange. In London, Brent crude for June delivery lost $2.07 at $111.21 on the ICE Futures exchange.
In other Nymex trading in June contracts, heating oil fell 5 cents to $2.8914 per gallon (3.79 liters), gasoline futures dropped 13 cents, or 4.2 percent, to $2.9446 a gallon and natural gas rose 9 cents to $4.396 per 1,000 cubic feet (28.32 cubic meters).


Updated : 2020-12-06 06:54 GMT+08:00