Summer gas prices could hit six year low

Caleb McCaig caleb.mccaig@brownwoodbulletin.com Twitter @caleb_mccaig
Gas prices in the Brownwood and Early area ranged from anywhere in-between $2.08-$2.29/gal. Wednesday.

It's still early in 2015, but the upward trend in gas prices may have already come and went and lower prices could be on the horizon.

Through the first quarter of 2015 retail gas prices climbed a total of 45 cents since the New Year, but that trend could be over.

"We believe we may have already seen the 2015 peak for the U.S. when the national average hit $2.47/gal on March 6," said GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan.

As of this week, consumers are saving $1.10/gal. this year versus last year and it's very possible that summer gasoline prices could bring even more joy at the pump.

"Once refineries complete their scheduled maintenance seasons and switch to summer formulations are complete, their output typically increases," said DeHaan. "Barring any unforeseen events, like refinery breakdowns or hurricanes, current supply and demand fundamentals could put more downward pressure on retail prices even during the summer driving season."

As of now, the national average price for the second quarter of 2015 is being forecasted by Gasbuddy to be between $2.25-$2.45/gal. during April, $2.20-$2.40/gal. in May and in June between $2.15-$2.35/gal.

That would result in prices in the second quarter being between 75 cents and $1.25/gal. below their 2014 levels.

"When it comes to fuel production everyone recognizes that current inventory levels exceed global demand but at the same time, between the major producers in North America and OPEC, nobody is willing to be the first to reduce output," said Gregg Laskoski, another senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.

State and local update

As of Wednesday, the price of gasoline in the Brownwood and Early area was anywhere in between $2.08-$2.29/gal., substantially less than the national average which currently sits at $2.39/gal. and in between the Texas average, depending on where you fill up which is currently at $2.21/gal.

Currently, Texas has the eleventh cheapest gas prices in the country, compared to South Carolina, which has the cheapest, and averages $2.08/gal.