Metro Atlantans hitting the road this Independence Day weekend will find gas prices cheaper than a month ago, but more instability in the Middle East could push prices higher in the weeks ahead.
For nearly all pump grades, AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report for Wednesday showed gas prices in metro Atlanta were down 10 cents or more from a month ago and a nickel in the last week.
According to Gasbuddy.com, the cheapest gas in metro Atlanta on Wednesday was $3.17 a gallon and could be found in Johns Creek at a Shell station at 11580 Jones Bridge Road and a Kroger at 11877 Douglas Road; and in Alpharetta at a QuikTrip at 11700 Cotton Creek Entry.
The drop in prices at the pump is due to rising gasoline supplies and falling wholesale prices that stations pay, according to Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst for Gasbuddy.
The lower prices, however, probably won’t last given developments in Egypt, which was dealing with a military coup Wednesday. Though the country is not a major player in oil production, the situation adds to regional destabilization that can have an impact on crude oil prices.
“So far, that [situation in Egypt] has put some upward pressure on the price of crude oil, which may in turn filter down in the next week to higher gasoline prices,” DeHaan told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “What we are seeing right now with falling prices in Atlanta may wrap up in the next week, and we may actually see prices start to inch back upward.”
The Associated Press reported Wednesday the price of oil rose to its highest level in 14 months, to more than $101 a barrel, on concerns about Middle East supplies and signs of an increase in U.S. demand for fuel.
The average price for regular was $3.39 on Wednesday in metro Atlanta, down from $3.51 a month ago, and mid-grade was at nearly $3.59, down from nearly $3.70. The biggest price drop, around 16 cents, was for premium, which averaged $3.76 Wednesday, down from nearly $3.87 a month ago. The price of diesel was also lower. The overall average price of gas in Georgia was $3.33.
The average U.S. retail price fell less than a penny Wednesday to $3.48 per gallon, the AP reported.
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