U.S. Drivers Start 2015 With Cheapest Gas in Six Years

woman-gas-pump-carFuel Fix

Drivers paid an average of $2.2021 a gallon for regular gasoline at U.S. pumps last week, the lowest level for this time of year since 2009, according to Lundberg Survey Inc.

Prices dropped 26.92 cents in the three-week period to Jan. 9 and are $1.14 a gallon below year-ago levels, according to the survey, which is based on information obtained at about 2,500 filling stations by the Camarillo, California-based company.

Retail gasoline fell after crude oil prices dropped below $50 for the first time since 2009 as OPEC members said they wouldn’t reduce output to bolster prices that have dropped by more than half since June. U.S. stockpiles of gasoline at 237 million barrels were the highest since 2011 in the week ended Jan. 2, according to government data. Refineries across the nation ran at nearly 94 percent of operable capacity.

“The prime mover for gasoline prices was lower crude oil,” Trilby Lundberg, the president of Lundberg Survey, said in a telephone interview. “We also have swollen supplies and refinery utilization rates are very high.”

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