South Dakota’s price average today for self-serve regular gasoline is $3.594 per gallon, still well within the $3.53 to $3.60 range it has occupied since mid-March, according to FuelGaugeReport.AAA.com.
“It’s hard to believe right now, but as recently as the day before Christmas last year, our average across the state was $3.10 per gallon,” said Marilyn Buskohl, spokeswoman for AAA South Dakota. “The price average rose to $3.52 on March 13 and hasn’t varied much since then.”
According to AAA, June’s persistently high prices were a product of the violence in Iraq, which continues to impact global oil prices. But as production in the south of the country remains unaffected, fears of a disruption to supply have lessened, which may signal lower pump prices for South Dakotans.
Another positive sign is news that Libya has started to ramp up production. As oil prices ease, retail gas prices will follow suit. WTI crude oil on the NYMEX closed yesterday down 53 cents to $103.53
According to the Bank of America, the U.S. has surpassed Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world's biggest oil producer this year. Domestic output is increasing and production growth outside the U.S. has been less than expected.
The national average price of gasoline has fallen for eleven straight days, but remains the highest price for this calendar date since 2008. This past Sunday, for the first time since June 11, the national average price for regular gas was lower than one month before. Today’s average is $3.65 per gallon, two cents less than one week ago, half a cent below the price one month ago, but 18 cents more than on this date in 2013.
The pump price in four states is still above $4.00 per gallon: Hawaii ($4.34), Alaska ($4.22), California ($4.14) and Washington State ($4.01). Prices in all but three states (Idaho, Wyoming and Utah) are higher than on this same date last year.