California’s average pump price dropped for the fourth straight week and the U.S. average price slipped below $2 a gallon on easing supply concerns, the Energy Department said Monday.
Self-serve regular gasoline sold in California for an average of $2.311 a gallon in the week ended Monday, down 3 cents from the prior week, according to a survey of gasoline stations by the agency’s Energy Information Administration.
The price hit a record-high $2.402 a gallon in the week ended Oct. 18. It has now fallen 3.8% from that peak in tandem with declining oil and gasoline futures prices on commodities markets.
Even so, California’s average pump price remained 63 cents a gallon higher than a year earlier in the face of tight supplies and motorists’ strong demand for fuel.
The U.S. average price for regular gas, which fell 3.2 cents to $1.969 a gallon in the latest week, remained 47.2 cents above year-earlier levels, the EIA said.
Crude oil, which accounts for about half of the price of gasoline, dropped again Monday as growing U.S. supplies continued to relieve fears of a winter supply crunch. The suspension of a threatened labor strike in Nigeria, a major oil exporter, also helped push oil prices lower.
Light crude oil for December delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed at $46.87 per 42-gallon barrel, down 45 cents, after trading as low as $45.25 a barrel earlier in the session. Oil has tumbled 15% since reaching a Nymex closing high of $55.17 a barrel twice last month.
Gasoline for December delivery fell 1.9 cents to $1.238 a gallon, also on Nymex.