Gas prices take unexpected summer dip

Johnson City Press • Jun 17, 2019 at 11:42 AM

Gas prices in the state of Tennessee have fallen more than 20 cents on average since last month, a welcome surprise for many as summer inches closer.

Down six cents since last week, gas prices in the state average around $2.35/gallon — 32 cents lower than the national average of $2.67. That state average also represents a drop of nearly 30 cents since June of 2018.

"For the sixth straight week, gasoline prices have declined nationally, a feat not often seen heading into the prime of summer driving season,” Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said in a press release.

“The national average dropped six cents last week, following a consistent downward trend since Memorial Day,” Stephanie Milani, Tennessee Public Affairs Director, for AAA, said in a press release. “The decline is unusual for this time of year.”

Crude oil prices, however, rose by 23 cents following attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week, though it hasn’t translated to a gas price increase. Prior to the attack, crude oil prices hit their lowest point in six months last week.

AAA warns that if the U.S. and Iran continue to see tensions rise, crude prices could also rise as fear of a conflict grips the market. This comes after the U.S. accused Iran of being behind the attacks on the two oil tankers. Roughly 20% of the worlds crude goes through the Gulf of Oman.

Still, DeHaan says we’re “highly likely” to see national gas prices decline for a seventh straight week, with no foreseeable end to the freefall on the horizon.