U.S. refineries are flexing their muscles and helping lower gasoline prices in the middle of the peak driving season.
The average price for regular gasoline at U.S. pumps dropped 9.04 cents in the two weeks ended July 25 to $3.579 a gallon, according to Lundberg Survey Inc. It’s based on information obtained at about 2,500 filling stations by the Camarillo, California-based company.
Prices are 9.51 cents lower than a year ago and are at the lowest level since March 21, the survey showed.
Retail prices declined as refineries processed the most petroleum in government records dating back to 1989 in the week ended July 11. Plants in the Midwest exceeded their nameplate capacity during that week.
“It’s really a mid-summer gift,” Trilby Lundberg, the president of Lundberg Survey, said in a telephone interview yesterday. “Refiners have been on a kick to run more crude, run at high rates and to cut price.”
The highest price for gasoline in the lower 48 states among the markets surveyed was in San Francisco, at $4.03 a gallon, Lundberg said. The lowest price was in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where customers paid an average of $3.23.
Regular gasoline averaged $3.83 on Long Island, New York, and $3.96 in Los Angeles.