(The Hill) – The national average price for a gallon of gas fell to $4.01 on Monday and is expected to imminently fall below $4, according to estimates by GasBuddy.
Gas prices have fallen for eight straight weeks after briefly hitting a record high of more than $5 a gallon in mid-June, according to gas price tracker analysis. AAA reported on Monday the national average is $4,059 per gallon.
“The national average is poised to drop back under $4 per gallon as of early today as we see gas prices drop for eight consecutive weeks,” Patrick De Haan, GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis, said in a statement.
“By the end of the week, a hundred thousand stations will be $3.99 or less,” he said.
But the average gas price still varies widely by country.
Texas on Monday reported the lowest average gas price at $3.51, followed by Oklahoma and South Carolina.
Gas prices in two western states – California and Hawaii – still remain high at $5.30, followed by Alaska at $4.97.
De Haan suggested a favorable outlook for gas prices continuing to fall, although he suggested hurricane season could cause disruption.
“Basically laid for the ninth week of decline, with the West Coast area soon ditching the $5 per gallon average,” said De Haan. “While I’m optimistic, the decline could continue for a few more weeks, we’re seeing some activity in the tropics, which could increase the risk of potential disruption.”
GasBuddy analysis shows diesel prices are also down, down 13.1 cents in the last week and now standing at an average of $5.14 per gallon. De Haan said that the average is likely to fall below $5.
AAA attributed some of the recent drop to the drop in gas demand, citing the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) data that showed gas demand last week was in line with the level at the end of July 2020, when pandemic restrictions put many drivers off the road.
High gas prices have been the main contributor to inflation, which hit 9.1 percent for the year ending in June, the biggest price increase in roughly 40 years.
President Biden authorized releases from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve beginning in March to lower pump prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
After promising to make him a pariah, Biden also met with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last month in an apparent bid for the country to increase its oil production.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which includes Saudi Arabia, and other oil producers Wednesday agreed to boost production in September but at a slower pace than in previous months.