WASHINGTON – Drivers — in most parts of the country — are seeing some relief at the pump as gas and crude oil prices drop.
However, drivers in the Washington area aren’t as fortunate.
The average price of a gallon of unleaded gas fell by a penny nationwide this weekend to $3.93 nationwide, reports AAA. In Washington, the average price is higher, landing at $4.05.
The arrival of an early spring is what’s saving the day for consumers, says Phil Flynn, an oil and gas analyst.
“This time of year is the time we peak. It used to be the Fourth of July. But more often than not it becomes this time of year when you hit the roll-over from the winter blends to the summer blends,” Flynn tells WTOP.
“I think there’s anticipation that we’ll see new supplies come online very quickly, refineries will come out of maintenance, that will mean more supplies of gasoline and the prices will go down.”
At the same time gasoline prices dropped, crude oil hit an eight-week low. There are hopes in the market that the price of crude will continue to fall, Flynn said.
Global tensions over U.S and Iranian relations is what Flynn thinks drove the market up last month.
“The market was pricing in a conflict. There didn’t seem to be any chance we could step back from the brink with a war with Iran. What you saw in Europe, Asia and Japan was people hoarding supplies because they really thought there was going to be a war.”
Now the major global powers are in discussions over Iran’s sanctions.
“If there’s some way to end the agreement with the Iranian Oil Embargo, and Iran [backs away] from making nuclear weapons, and they come to some kind of agreement, that could be the biggest break we have seen for gasoline prices since the economic crisis that started to unfold in 2008,” Flynn said.
WTOP’s Megan Cloherty contributed to this report.
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