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Gas prices holding steady

PARK HILLS — For the most part gas prices have not budged in the Parkland since they went up on the eve of Hurricane Gustav. The price of crude oil went up with anticipation of severe damage to key oil facilities in the Gulf of Mexico. With that the price of gasoline went up at least 10 cents per gallon at most local gas stations. When Gustav passed and the damage was minor if any to those facilities, the price of crude went down. However, that has yet to be reflected in the price for regular unleaded in the Parkland.

“St. Francois County and areas to the south of St. Louis must still be working off of the same supply, said Mike Right, the vice-president of public affairs for AAA. “Gas prices in many areas have been going down since Tuesday. In St. Louis gas prices got as high as $3.50 just before Hurricane Gustav and now they are down to $3.44.”

The price of crude oil dropped to $106 on Friday. Right has maintained for several months that for regular unleaded to get back below $3 a gallon, crude oil is going to have get below $100 a barrel.

“It certainly could happen depending on the supply situations,” he said. “Will it happen? Who knows, it’s going to depend on how the market responds to Hurricane Ike. If a hurricane hit the Gulf of Mexico and disrupts the supply of oil or gas, we could see prices head north really quick.”

Right said one problem the U.S. is facing is that there are signs of decreasing output in both Alaska in Mexico.

“Alaska saved our tails in the 1980s,” he said. “Now those fields are maturing and further exploration isn’t allowed. In Mexico I don’t think they have invested properly to ensure additional wells come online.”

He said AAA continues to compile statistics that show a negative increase in miles driven by Americans for each month dating back to the end of 2007.

“People are definitely traveling less than they ever have before,” he said. “They have changed their driving habits to try to cope with the high cost of gasoline.”

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