Gas prices avoid predicted rise in Central New York as U.S. production increases

Published Mar 20, 2017 at 4:00pm

The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is down one cent from last week to $2.29 per gallon as prices remained stable despite substantial price increases that were forecast earlier this year.

The current price is still higher than prices one year ago when the average the price of a gallon of gas was $1.98, according to industry officials. The New York State average remains at $2.43 per gallon — unchanged from last week. A year ago, the New York State average was $2.05 per gallon. 

AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Buffalo — $2.40, down 1 cent;
  • Rochester — $2.34, down 1 cent;
  • Rome — $2.36, down 1 cent; and
  • Syracuse — $2.29, no change.

In the area, gas prices ranged from a low of $2.25 per gallon of regular unleaded gas at multiple service stations in the Utica/Rome area to $2.46, according to gasbuddy.com.

“As oil prices have hit a bit of a rough patch in the last two weeks, gasoline prices have stumbled as well with a majority of states seeing a weekly pull back in retail prices,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com.

“While some states did see minor increases, the bulk of the country saw prices moving lower at a time of year that such a move is about as likely as a 16th seed team winning the NCAA tournament,” DeHaan added.

“While the drop at the pump is most welcome, we’re nearly guaranteed to see prices rebound well in time for Memorial Day and the start of the summer driving season. For now, there’s a major tug of war going on with oil prices— a move higher or lower in the week ahead could determine the direction of prices the next few weeks or longer,” DeHaan added.

Conversations among oil countries and corporations swirled following comments from the Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, that OPEC would be willing to extend production cuts beyond the six-month agreement, especially if global inventories stay bloated.

The energy minister’s comments gave little support to the market as the OPEC production freeze continues to be diluted by increased U.S. production.

Oil service company, Baker Hughes, reported that the U.S. rig count increased again this week when producers added 14 drilling rigs in the United States. Traders will continue to watch whether OPEC and non-OPEC members make moves to further cut production in an attempt to balance the global oil supply.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance. Locate gas prices across the country at http://gasprices.aaa.com.