Gas prices down another 8.8 cents in Orlando
Students may feel their wallets getting a little heavier as gas prices have fallen an average of 8.8 cents per gallon in Orlando.
The average gas price in Orlando is $2.87 as of Monday, according to GasBuddy and that price is 29.7 cents lower than the same day one year ago.
The national average for gas prices has also decreased and saw a 33-cents-per-gallon dip over the last month.
"This past weekend, we witnessed the national average declining under $3 per gallon for the first time since Dec. 22, 2010 — an impressive feat that seems to have caught many motorists by surprise," said senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, Patrick DeHaan, in a release.
The decrease in gas prices can be attributed to a couple factors.
"Historically, retail gasoline prices tend to follow consistent seasonal patterns and the reason for that is partially because of consumer demand and when we travel," said senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, Gregg Laskoski. "We traveled the most during the summertime."
Outside of demand, Laskoski said the decline in gas prices also has to do with which blend is currently being produced, something that makes gas prices cyclical. In the summer, the Environmental Protection Agency has a requirement that all of the refineries create a summer blend gasoline. This gasoline had to burn cleaner than the gas that is used in other times of the year.
"The reason they mandate summer blend gasoline is because they're trying to reduce the smog and pollution in all of the major metro areas across the country," Laskoski said. "And the time that they focus on is the summer because that's when we have the peak driving season — so many people driving for leisure purposes, vacations and so on."
Summer blend gases are in season May 1 through Sept. 30. This blend is more expensive to produce and takes more time to produce. Right now, a winter blend is being produced.
"At this time of year, really when you get past Labor Day, you move into the fall and refineries can do everything in reverse," Laskoski said. "They make a transition away from summer blend gasoline and they produce the winter blend gasoline, which is cheaper. It's a cheaper gas at a time of year when demand diminishes."
Another reason for the decrease in gasoline prices can be attributed to crude oil prices.
"Saudi Arabia said that they were voluntarily cutting crude oil prices for October shipment," DeHaan said. "That was then followed by Iran and Iraq who also said the same thing a few weeks later. That news has put tremendous downward pressure on oil prices."
Although Laskoski said that gas prices will likely not increase during the Thanksgiving holiday, how long prices will continue to decline is undetermined.
"We have two different scenarios for gas prices from here on- if oil prices hold their current $80 [per barrel] level, gas prices nationally may see their decline wind down, only dropping another few cents," DeHaan said. "But if oil prices can drop to $78 or less, we could see the national average decline for several more weeks. It's hard to tell right now which way the market will go, since oil prices have halted their decline in the last week."