Gas prices continue to fall around the United States, and barring any major catastrophic events that could send them skyrocketing again, consumers may soon be able to breathe a sigh of relief, as analysts say prices below $4.00 a gallon could soon return.
The average price per gallon in the United States, which AAA estimates as sitting at $4.38, has dropped consistently in the last few weeks. While West Coast states are still seeing exceedingly high prices over $5.00 per gallon on average, states in the Southeastern U.S. have already started seeing average prices falling below $4.00, with Texas registering the lowest average price per gallon currently, at $3.88. Based on AAA’s modeling, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina are also averaging prices below $4.00 a gallon.
Now, experts state that barring a crisis that drives the cost up again, consumers around the country could expect to see similar price averages by October.
“if the oil market stayed at these levels, we could see the national retail gas price go below $4 per gallon by late October,” Andy Lipow of Lipow Oil Associates said, via Yahoo! Finance. “That is a long time from now and in between we have a Hurricane season and we have yet to see the impact of the European Union phased in ban of Russian oil purchases. But there is some reason for optimism.”
Lipow’s comments come after other experts predicted the fall could happen before the summer came to an end, with Patrick de Haan, head of petroleum analysis at Gas Buddy, told NBC earlier in July.
Still, other analysts have warned that prices could once again reverse course, with prices potentially tripling in the same timeframe of October if Russia were to shut down its supply entirely.
If prices did drop, it would be a significant relief for consumers who have been struggling with increased prices at the pump, which sky-rocketed in the aftermath of the Russian-Ukraine war. However, it would still have a way to go from prices a year prior, which Fox 29 reports was $3.15 a gallon nationally one year ago.
Prices for gas famously dropped considerably in the aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in April and May 2020, when many were in lockdowns, non-essential businesses were largely closed and travel was limited, the average price per gallon in the United States dropped to $1.93 and $1.96 a gallon respectively, as demand was lowered considerably.
Since pandemic restrictions eased in late 2020 and throughout 2021, and inflation began to rise, prices increased considerably, first reaching an average of over $3.00 a gallon in May 2021.
The average price per gallon in June topped $5.03 a gallon, the highest it has reached since the EIA began tracking the prices in April 1993.