Gas prices in Tennessee declined 3 cents last week, bringing the state average to $2.68 per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline — the lowest daily price in three weeks.
Since peaking at $2.73 on May 27, gas prices have declined 14 consecutive days for a total of 5 cents. Despite the recent discount, Tennessean motorists are still paying 59 cents per gallon more than this time last year, AAA analysts said.
In Johnson City, gas prices fell to $2.60 per gallon. In Kingsport and Bristol, that average is now $2.65.
"Gas prices could drop another 5 cents this week unless the market suddenly shifts course," AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said in a news release. “Prices at the pump are still adjusting to the recent drop in oil and wholesale gasoline, due to the potential of increased crude output from OPEC.
“However, there is still volatility in the market, and pump prices could move higher if OPEC decides against easing production cuts at a meeting later this month."
Saudi Arabia increased production last month by 100,000 barrels a day, after curtailing output for nearly two years as part of an agreement with other OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers to reduce output in hopes of raising oil prices. The production cut worked, and the oil market tightened and crude prices reached near 4-year highs.
Now analysts say there are growing concerns that strong demand would soon outpace supplies, and economies will suffer as a result of the higher prices. Due to these concerns, the participants in this agreement are set to reconvene June 22 to discuss increasing output.
U.S. crude prices settled at $65.74 per barrel Friday, marking a 7-cent decline from the week before, and $6.50 less than this year's high.