Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Lower gas price trend could continue

Staff writer

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Gas prices are dropping across the state and the country and the trend could continue.

According to the website Gasbuddy.com, which gathers retail price data via crowd-sourcing for more than 133,000 gas stations across the country, the number of stations selling gas below $3 climbed to 50 percent of all retailers across the U.S.

The state average for New Mexico this week is at $2.91, which is what many of the area stations are charging. Last year at this time the state average was $3.14 and last month the average was 3.21.

The U.S. average for gas is at its lowest levels since December 2010. The cheapest gas in the state, according to the website, is $2.61 in Las Cruces.

Doug Shupe, the Texas/New Mexico senior public affairs specialist for AAA, said the low prices are due to a variety of factors.

“Oil prices have declined dramatically in recent months so in turn gas prices have also dropped. Also refineries have begun to produce a winter blend of gas, which has lower EPA standards than gas that is made for the summer months does, so it’s cheaper to make,” Shupe said.

“In addition people aren’t driving as much as the summer winds down, so when you combine all that, you have a cheaper product and lower demand,” Shupe said.

People in the area and around the country are enjoying the lower prices as they do not have to go to the pump as much.

“It has been nice that it’s coming down, since it’s kind of a necessity,” said Keith Briber, 18, of Portales.

Only four states in the country — Montana, Wyoming, Alaska and Hawaii — do not have a single gas station with gas below $3 per gallon, according to Gasbuddy.

While the prices are low now, they’re expected to go up, but analysts don’t know exactly when.

“We don’t project increases in gas prices because there’s just too many factors that go into it. Even environmental factors can lead to an increase, such as when Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast area a few years ago, gas went up simply because they couldn’t get more gas to several states for a few days,” Shupe said.

As much as people are enjoying the drop in prices, some aren’t satisfied just yet.

“I’d like to see the price go down to a dollar like it was when I first started driving,” said Jordan Schafer, 56, of Clovis.