Gas prices

(AP/Rick Bowmer)

“Motorists should expect low gas prices to linger through January, as gasoline demand is typically the lowest of the year,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA-The Auto Club Group.

Gas prices in Georgia dropped another 3 cents last week, Jenkins said, and the state average has now declined a total of 74 cents since October.

In 2018, U.S. gas prices averaged $2.72 per gallon. AAA expects that average to land somewhere in the $2.50s this year.

“Although pump prices could become somewhat volatile this month, drivers will notice a significant increase in the spring, with the upward trend beginning as early as February,” He said. “Putting global supply and demand fluctuations aside, gas prices often rise 30-70 cents in the spring, as gasoline demand increases, refiners conduct seasonal maintenance and begin to switch to a more expensive-to-produce summer-blend gasoline. AAA expects pump prices to peak around $2.75 this year, but there is higher potential if a hurricane threatens gulf coast refineries, or there are sizable swings in fuel supplies or the economy.”

Compared to last Memorial Day, when the state average peaked at around $2.84, Georgia drivers are now saving an average of nearly $12 for a 15-gallon tank of gasoline.

In 2018, Georgia gas prices averaged $2.59 per gallon, for regular unleaded. Based on these figures, if a Georgia driver bought a 15-gallon tank of gas every week in 2018 they would’ve spent an average total of $2,020 on gasoline last year.

That total cost is $234 more than what they would’ve spent on gasoline in 2017.

Overall, AAA expects the national average to stay below last year’s high of $2.97, set just before Memorial Day.

The latest Short Term Energy Outlook from the U.S. Energy Information Administration has WTI crude averaging $54 per barrel in 2019. That’s $11 per barrel less than last year’s average. That $11 difference in oil prices suggests a 27.5 cent discount at the pump.