(WHNT) – Drivers nationwide were seeing some relief at the pump Tuesday morning.
GasBuddy reported the national average fell back under $4/gallon for the first time since early March. Tuesday’s average was $3.99/gallon, down more than a dollar from the record-high $5.03/gallon on June 14. Declining crude oil prices over the last month have helped this decline, saving Americans nearly $400 million at the pump.
Prices began increasing in March amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. According to GasBuddy, this caused the global oil supply to tighten at the same time demand rose into the summer. Inventories tightened as a result, sending prices skyrocketing to record levels. The previous record-high of $4.10/gallon was broken in April. Some areas of California jumped as high as $7/gallon at the peak of the high prices, along with diesel seeing its highest ratio ever to regular gas.
According to Patrick De Haan, a perfect storm of factors led to the record prices throughout the summer – and those factors are still somewhat in play.
We’ve never seen anything like 2022 at the pump, highlighted by once-in-a-lifetime events including the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which caused myriad imbalances, exacerbated by Russia’s war on Ukraine. As a result, we’ve seen gas prices behave in ways never witnessed before, jumping from $3 to $5 and now back to $3.99. While the recent drop in gas prices has been most welcomed, the issues that led to skyrocketing prices aren’t completely put to bed, and still could lead prices to eventually climb back up, should something unexpected develop.Patrick De Haan, GasBuddy Head of Petroleum Analysis
GasBuddy recommends shopping around to find the best gas prices; the company says conditions change quickly and stations within a few blocks can sometimes vary in price by more than 30 cents/gallon.
Across Huntsville, similar price drops have been noted, with Monday’s GasBuddy average at $3.69/gallon, down nearly 60 cents from the same time in July.