Gasoline prices in the Pine Bluff region have been slowly creeping downward in recent weeks but any long-term decline is not likely, officials said.
“Gasoline has been trending downward in areas, but crude oil went back up over $100 a barrel yesterday and there has been a major shift in wholesale gasoline with prices up 10 cents yesterday versus one week ago,” Michael Right, vice president of public affairs with AAA Missouri, said Thursday.
“Whether or not that will impact the recent price slippage in gasoline is anybody’s guess,” he said.
A survey of prices Friday for one gallon of regular unleaded gasoline saw prices ranging from a high of $3.17 per gallon down to a low of $3.10 per gallon.
The Big Red at West 28th Avenue and Palm Street was selling gas for $3.10 per gallon, with $3.10 per gallon at the Brookshire’s located at Camden Road and West 28th, $3.15 per gallon at the Exxon at Dollarway Road and Hutchinson Street and $3.17 per gallon at the Murphy USA on South Olive Street next to the Walmart Supercenter.
In White Hall, the CITGO at North Bryant Street and U.S. 65B was selling gas for $3.17 per gallon and the Valero at U.S. 270 off Interstate 530 had gas for $3.19 per gallon.
As of Friday, the average price for unleaded gasoline in Arkansas was $3.12, with the price one month ago at $3.29 and one year ago at $2.75, according to Gasbuddy.com.
The nationwide average price for one gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $3.30 per gallon, with the price one month ago at $3.45 and one year ago at $2.90, according to Gasbuddy.com.
Right said that global tensions are pointing to higher instead of lower fuel prices moving forward.
“There is also the issue of world politics and what is happening in Iran,” Right said. “I would not be a bit surprised to see crude oil rest at over $100 per barrel. Hopefully we can keep prices somewhere in the neighborhood of $3.00 to $3.25 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline.”
Right said that recent crude oil prices have tended to trend with the ups and downs of the stock market.
“Much of the recent price increase in crude oil is apparently tied to the stock market,” Right said. “There is almost a direct relationship between stocks going up and crude oil going up. People seem to feel optimistic about economic growth prospects when equities are going up and this is affecting the price of crude oil.”