Local News

Lower Crude Prices Don't Make It to Pump

Posted January 12, 2007 6:46 p.m. EST
Updated January 12, 2007 9:11 p.m. EST

— Crude oil prices are down, but the cost of filling up a gas tank in the Triangle hasn't dropped as dramatically in recent weeks.

Oil trading closed Friday at just under $53 a barrel, up slightly from Thursday, when it closed at the lowest price since May 2005.

Every $1 drop in the price of crude oil should produce at least a 2.5-cent drop at the pump, according to energy analysts.

The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded in the Triangle is $2.24, down 13 cents from a year ago. Statewide, the average price of $2.24 a gallon is down 6 cents in the past six months.

Nationally, the average price of a gallon of unleaded regular is $2.27.

"This is not an exact science. There are too many ifs, ands or buts that impact market prices," said Gary Harris of the North Carolina Petroleum Marketers Association.

A price war between stations is one such factor in determining prices.

A Sunhouse station in Siler City was selling gas for $2.05 a gallon Friday — until a tanker dropped off more fuel, when prices dropped to $1.94 a gallon.

Around the corner, the Country Mart was selling gas for $1.99 a gallon.

"There's gougers everywhere — people out for the almighty dollar. That's all they're after. So, we're glad there are places like this," driver Bob Tripp said.

"I wait until my tank's just about dry to make it back to Siler City," driver John Pleasants said.