Fuels analyst Harold Hommes says the slight drop in gas prices is linked to lower crude oil prices.
“Crude oil markets have fallen here recently, West Texas Intermediate is around that $90 a barrel mark,” Hommes says. “I am a little bit surprised we haven’t seen a greater fall in unleaded gasoline. I’m still expecting that to come in the near future though, a little bit of relief.”
The changeover to winter blends and the production of more heating oil can impact prices, but Hommes says that’s already been figured in.
“Most of the turnaround for the winter blends has already occurred and is in place at this time. So I don’t think as far as a supply issue that that’s part of the equation right now,” he explains.
The price of natural gas, the main heating fuel used in Nebraska, has moved upward recently, but only slightly.
Hommes says the utility companies usually lock in winter supplies and week-to-week price fluctuations are not felt immediately like they are with gasoline.
“Most of that supply going at this point in time in our calendar year is already in place for the winter heating season. And we’ve had it in place in anticipation for what normally would be grain drying, (which) also is a pretty heavy demand,” according to Hommes.
A report from AAA shows the average price of regular unleaded gasoline averaging $3.82 a gallon in Nebraska. That’s down seven-cents a gallon in the past week yet remains three cents above the national average.