Illinois gas price drops below $3 for the first time since December 2010

Online Staff Report

AURORA, Illinois — The Illinois average price of gas has dropped below $3 per gallon for the first time since Dec. 4, 2010, ending its longest streak ever above that price, according to AAA.

AAA estimates that lower gas prices are helping U.S. consumers save at least $250 million per day on gasoline compared to early summer when the national average reached $3.68 per gallon.

Consumers are experiencing ‘sticker delight’ as gas prices dropped below $3 in much of Illinois,” said Beth Mosher, director of public affairs for AAA Chicago. “Lower gas prices are a boon to the economy, just in time for holiday travel and shopping.”

AAA anticipates gasoline prices may continue to drop in the near term, but it is possible that prices in many areas will begin to stabilize soon. Unless there are unexpected developments, gasoline should remain relatively inexpensive this winter because of lower demand and typical seasonal trends. By spring, higher gas prices may return as a result of refinery maintenance, increased demand and a return to summer-blend gasoline.

Paying less than $3 for gas is a welcome holiday gift that may not last nearly as long as many would hope,” Mosher said. “It is possible that lower gas prices will soon be a faded memory, so enjoy it while you can. The days of paying more than $3 per gallon for gas have regrettably not gone away.”

Gas prices typically decline in the autumn because of decreased driving and the switchover to winter-blend gasoline, but prices have fallen faster than many expected this year because of sharply lower crude oil prices. The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil has dropped more than $20 per barrel since late June as a result of strong production and concerns about the global economy, particularly in Europe and Asia. There also are reports that some OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) nations, such as Saudi Arabia, would be willing to let prices fall to maintain a competitive market share.

Crude oil is the main cost associated with gasoline and represents about two-thirds of the price of a gallon of gas. It is estimated that every $10 per barrel change in the price of crude oil results in a 25-cent change in the price of a gallon of gasoline.

October monthly averages across the region are as follow:

In Winnebago County, Illinois, self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $3.16 per gallon, a decrease of 29 cents from September and 17 cents lower than October 2013.

In Cook County, Illinois, self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $3.52, which is down 27 cents from last month and 11 cents lower than last year’s price-per-gallon.

In DuPage County, Illinois, self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $3.28 per gallon, which is a 35-cent decrease from September and down 19 cents from last year.

In Kane County, Illinois, self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $3.24 per gallon, which is down 4 cents compared to last month and 1 cent lower than October 2013’s price.

In Lake County, Illinois, self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $3.62 per gallon, which is 36 cents lower than last month and 20 cents lower than last year’s price.

In McHenry County, Illinois, self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $3.27 per gallon, which is 33 cents lower than last month’s average and 16 cents lower than October 2013’s price.

In Will County, Illinois, self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $3.23 per gallon, which is 36 cents lower compared to last month and 20 cents lower compared to last year.

In Champaign County, Illinois, self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $3.16 per gallon, a decrease of 30 cents from September and 10 cents lower than last year.

In McLean County, Illinois, self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $3.11 per gallon, which is 26 cents lower than last month and 17 cents lower than last year.

In Peoria County, Illinois, self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $3.10 per gallon, which is down 24 cents compared to last month and down 26 cents from October 2013.

In Sangamon County, Illinois, self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $3.04 per gallon, which is 29 cents lower than last month and 24 cents lower than last year.

In Allen County, Indiana, self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $3.11 per gallon, which is 31 cents lower than last month and 22 cents lower than October 2013’s price.

In Lake County, Indiana, self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $3.12 per gallon, which is down 35 cents from September’s average and is a 19-cent decrease from a year ago.

In Porter County, Indiana, self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $3.10 per gallon, which is 38 cents lower than last month and 17 cents lower than last year.

In St. Joseph County, Indiana, self-serve regular unleaded gasoline averages $3.10 per gallon, which is 27 cents lower compared to last month and 30 cents lower than last year.

Fuel prices are posted online at www.fuelgaugereport.com, which updates prices daily for unleaded, diesel and E85 blends of fuel.

Posted Nov. 17, 2014

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