Regular-grade gasoline prices this week average $3.29/gal, 14¢ lower than a year ago, and the lowest level heading into a Thanksgiving holiday since 2010, according to the US Energy Information Administration.
During the 2013 Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Nov. 27-Dec. 1, more than 38 million people in US will travel more than 50 miles from home by automobile, the American Automobile Association estimates.
EIA’s November 2013 Short-Term Energy Outlook forecasts the US average retail price of regular gasoline to be $3.24/gal in the fourth quarter, rising to average $3.33/gal in first-quarter 2014. The 2013 annual average retail gasoline price is forecast at $3.50/gal and the 2014 average at $3.39/gal.
“Lower costs of crude oil are the major reason that gasoline prices are down in recent months,” EIA said. From Sept. 3 to Nov. 25, Brent crude oil spot prices dropped by $4.66/bbl and West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell by $14.81/bbl, partly driven by lower demand for crude oil due to seasonal refinery maintenance.
EIA’s November 2013 STEO forecasts Brent and WTI prices to decline further to $105/bbl and less than $94/bbl, respectively, in December, and down to $101 and $93 by the end of 2014.