Oil prices fell below $100 last week after news the European Union will consider delaying sanctions on Iran for six months to allow European countries to find alternative supplies. The news eased concerns Iran will attempt to block the Strait of Hormuz, which transports up to 17 million barrels of oil a day.
Oil futures also fell after France announced the Standard & Poor's will reduce their AAA credit rating to AA. The reduced credit rating is a sign the European debt crisis is far from over. Europe's debt issues continue to weigh heavy on the market causing speculation Europe may enter a recession and stifle global oil demand. Crude oil closed Friday at $98.70 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange--$2.86 less than the week prior.
"As long as tensions with Iran are easing, oil prices should remain below $100 a barrel," said Jessica Brady, AAA spokesperson, The Auto Club Group. "The same bearish factors that put downward pressure on oil prices over the past few weeks are still prevalent, helping push both oil and retail gas prices lower. Consumers should start to see pump prices stabilize and may even see prices fall in some areas if a barrel of oil continues to trade below $100 this week."
The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.38 per gallon, 1 cent more than last week. Florida's average price of $3.45 increased 2 cents, while Tennessee's average price of $3.25 rose 1 cent from last week. Georgia's average price of $3.36 reflects a 3-cent increase from last week, respectively.
CURRENT AND PAST PRICE AVERAGES
Regular Unleaded Gasoline
Current Week Ago Month Ago Year Ago
National: $3.388 $3.371 $3.250 $3.096
Florida: $3.457 $3.438 $3.285 $3.133
Georgia: $3.368 $3.335 $3.185 $3.014
Tennessee: $3.256 $3.247 $3.085 $2.960
AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report (fuelgaugereport.com) is updated each day and is the most comprehensive; reflecting actual prices from credit card transactions within the past 24 hours at two-thirds (100,000 stations) of the gasoline stations in the U.S. Its accuracy is unparalleled.