Gas prices fall for fourth week in a row

The average price for a gallon of gas in the U.S. fell to $2.49 this week, the fourth consecutive weekly decline as demand softens with the cooler autumn weather.

The biggest decreases ranged from 11 cents in Michigan to 7 cents in Arkansas, according to Gas Buddy. Missouri posted the lowest average price this week, $2.18. Motorists in Hawaii and California are paying $3.09, the highest in the country.

Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson, said this week’s decline of six cents on average follows the usual seasonal drop in demand, which she predicts will mean even cheaper prices this fall.

Prices are still considerably higher than before Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which took a toll on supply and production as refineries shut down and shipments were interrupted.

As Hurricane Nate moved toward the Gulf Coast over the weekend, many drilling platforms and rigs in the region shut down, and two refineries, accounting for six percent of the region’s capacity, went dark. No damages were reported, however, and operations were due to start up again Monday.

Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, said Nate had no effect on prices as the U.S. continues to be “awash” in crude oil. Meanwhile, gasoline demand dipped by 281,000 barrels per day, according to the Energy Information Administration, signaling a trend toward pre-hurricane price levels.

“Look for relief to continue in most of the country,” DeHaan said. “Nationally, prices still stand about 15 cents per gallon higher than their pre-Harvey level, but the gap will continue to slow as prices slowly trickle down.”