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Gas prices decline as Thanksgiving nears

Staff Reports • Updated Nov 23, 2016 at 8:00 PM

Gas prices continue to fall as 43.5 million Americans plan to hit the road for Thanksgiving. 

In the past week, state averages declined 5 cents in Florida, 7 cents in Georgia and 6 cents in Tennessee. 

“Motorists are beginning to find gas prices under $2 a gallon again,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman for AAA. “Low oil prices, lower demand and high gasoline supplies are causing the slump at the pump. Gas prices should push even lower through the holiday weekend, unless crude oil prices suddenly surge.” 

On Thanksgiving Day 2015, the price for a gallon of regular unleaded averaged $2.05 nationally, $2.08 in Florida, $1.99 in Georgia and $1.88 in Tennessee. Current averages are higher than last year’s holiday, by 9 cents nationally, 3 cents in Florida, 13 cents in Georgia and 8 cents in Tennessee. State averages are now falling at a rate of about 1-cent a day. If that trend continues, the Florida average will be the lowest on Thanksgiving since 2008 ($1.91). It’s unlikely the national, Georgia and Tennessee averages will have enough time to drop below last year’s levels.

Motorists can find gas prices below $2 a gallon at 28 percent of gas stations in Florida, 16 percent of gas stations in Georgia and 76 percent of gas stations in Tennessee.

Oil prices floated higher last week after it was reported that OPEC is getting closer to finalizing the details of their production agreement. Discussions at Friday’s informal meeting resulted in many OPEC members suggesting they would be open to giving Iran more flexibility in the volume of oil they produce. Up until this point Iran was one of the major outliers who would not agree to the terms of an OPEC production cut. 

Following the discussions, many traders anticipate that it may be more likely that OPEC is able to solidify their production agreement at the November 30 meeting in Vienna, Austria. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate crude oil settled at $45.69 per barrel – an increase of $2.28 from the week before.

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