The price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline continues to drop off from its recent highs throughout the Pine Bluff and White Hall area.

The price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline continues to drop off from its recent highs throughout the Pine Bluff and White Hall area.

Michael Right, vice president for public affairs with AAA Missouri, attributes the cheaper gas in part to the lessening of tensions in the Middle East.

“Since the average price for a gallon of unleaded gas in Arkansas peaked at $3.81 on the sixth of April it has basically headed in a southerly direction ever since,” Right said.

“There has been an anxiety premium attached to the price based on what is happening in Iran. When there were threats from Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz through which one out of every five barrels of oil in the world passes the markets were quite nervous and the price increased. It is absolutely critical that the Strait stay open. The tension has now dissipated considerably. They seem to be working towards a solution so consequently the anxiety has lessened considerably,” he said.

Right said that signs of economic uncertainty have also contributed to the decline in the price of fossil fuels.

“China is backing off of some of its highs and Europe is having problems and this is reflected in the crude oil price,” Right said.

Right said that the domestic supply inventory of crude oil is at a 22 year high.

“We are exporting more gasoline today than we import which is a pretty big turnaround over the last 25 years,” Right said. “While we will probably never be totally energy independent we have taken large steps to reduce that dependence.”

Right said that there are no signs in the markets of oil beginning an upward price climb in the near future.

“We are certainly nowhere near the draconian projections of some that we would be seeing $5.00 to $6.00 per gallon gas this summer,” Right said. “That is not going to happen unless we were to have some sort of catastrophe.”

Prices

As of Friday, the average price for one gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in Arkansas was $3.33, with the price one week ago at $3.39, the price one month ago at $3.64 and the price one year ago at $3.64, according to GasBuddy.com.

Nationally, the average price sat at $3.67 Friday, with the price one week ago at $3.71, the price one month ago at $3.83 and the price one year ago at $3.81, according to GasBuddy.com.

A Friday afternoon survey of area gas prices found stations offering one gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the low $3.30s.

In Pine Bluff, the Brookshire’s at South Camden Road and West 28th Avenue had gas for $3.32 per gallon; the Murphy USA at Interstate 530 and S. Olive Street was selling a gallon for $3.31; the Exxon at S. Hazel Street and West 29th Avenue sold fuel for $3.35; and the Shell at Interstate 530 and South Camden Road was also selling gas for $3.35.

In White Hall, $3.35 per gallon was the prevailing price with the Valero at U.S. 270 and Interstate 530; the Shell at U.S. 270 and Robin Road; and the Valero at U.S. 270 and Sandy Acres Road selling fuel for that amount.