After a 16-day decline, oil prices closed near $70 per barrel on Wednesday, lowering gas prices for motorists before the summer driving season. A gallon of regular unleaded gasoline decreased less than a penny. According to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service, the new national average for a regular unleaded is $2.852 per gallon.
Compared to last month, gasoline is one cent cheaper per gallon but has jumped more than 53 cents from the same time last May. Economists at the Energy Information Administration were predicting that average gas prices would move above the $3 per gallon mark this summer; however, many experts are now reversing their opinions for the near term but believe that oil prices are destined to rise in the long run.
In addition, analysts continue to monitor effects of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill on the country’s oil supplies. The massive spill is not expected to affect energy prices this year; however, Credit Suisse analyst Ed Morse stated that the spill could shape up to be “as bullish an item as one can think of” for oil prices in coming years.