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Tampa gas prices fall despite Gulf evacuation | News

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Tampa gas prices fall despite Gulf evacuation
Tampa gas prices fall despite Gulf evacuation

Tampa, FL -- Now's the time to fill up your tanks!

Oil prices increased slightly after reports showed U.S. stockpiles of crude oil decreased by approximately 3 million barrels because Tropical Storm Lee forced refineries in the Gulf to evacuate, according to AAA Club South.

However, prices are expected to fall this week because of slow economic conditions in the U.S. and Europe.

AAA reports the price of crude oil settled Friday at $87.96 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange—72 cents more than the week prior.

"Retail gas prices actually fell this week despite the markets volatility," Jessica Brady, spokesperson, AAA Auto Club South said in a release. "Pump prices have stayed between $3.55 and $3.65 nationally and are expected to remain relatively the same this week. The market is expected to be volatile again this week as the European Union works to solve debt issues and the Federal Reserve meets to discuss economic conditions in the U.S."

Average retail gasoline prices in Tampa fell 6.1 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.45/g yesterday. This compares with the national average that fell 4.2 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.61/g, according to gasoline price website TampaGasPrices.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Tampa during the past week, prices yesterday were 81.8 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 2.3 cents per gallon lower than a month ago.

"It took the end of summer for a drop in retail gasoline prices, but I'm sure motorists won't complain that we're finally seeing some drops in prices," Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst said in a release. "We've seen wholesale prices continue to be somewhat volatile, but I believe as we enter October we'll see markets slowly quiet down with retail gasoline prices falling to $3.35-$3.55 on average by Thanksgiving, with the exception being typical hotspots on the West Coast," DeHaan adds.

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