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AAA: Eureka still has second-most expensive gas as prices fall statewide

Gas prices across the country are finally dropping after months of unseasonable increases, which were driven by stock market speculation over how U.S. sanctions against Iran would impact the global oil supply, according to AAA. Of all the cities surveyed by AAA, Eureka had the second-highest prices in the state Tuesday.

Oil prices have held steady since the Iran sanctions took effect Monday, surprising some analysts who predicted Iran's reduced exports would cause oil prices—and subsequently gas prices—to rise even further to end the year. That hasn't happened, in part because oil prices on the stock market had been increasing all year as traders anticipated the Iran sanctions, mitigating potential sticker shock.

On Nov. 6 the average gallon of gas was $3.74 statewide, according to AAA. On Oct. 11 the statewide average was $3.81, 7 cents more.

In Eureka a gallon of gas cost an average $3.91 Tuesday, the second-highest price of the cities surveyed by AAA. On Oct. 11 the average in Eureka $3.93 a gallon, meaning Eureka has seen a 2-cent decrease.

South Lake Tahoe was listed as the city with the highest gas prices Tuesday with a gallon averaging $4.07. Nationally, the average price for gasoline has dropped from $2.91 to $2.75 in just a few weeks.

"Crude oil prices have been rising all year in anticipation of sanctions against Iran, which means motorists likely already experienced the worst effects of these sanctions on the price of gasoline," Michael Blasky, spokesman for AAA Northern California said. "If these oil prices continue to hold, we could see another 10-cent price drop in retail prices before Christmas."

Statewide, gasoline prices have dropped nearly 8 cents since reaching a 2018-high of $3.82 on Oct. 16. Most of the recent decrease can be attributed to California gas stations beginning to sell the state's winter blend of gasoline this month, which is cheaper for refineries to produce and costs about 6-10 cents less per gallon, according to AAA.

Analysts predict the full impact of Iran sanctions may not be felt until next summer, when the travel season increases market demand for fuel. The Iran sanctions, as currently enforced, will remove about 2 percent of the global oil supply from the market, and it remains to be seen whether other oil producers can make up the difference.

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