Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Fuel prices loosening grip

Analysts expect 'the end of $2 gas this year'

By Justin Fenton
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Area gasoline prices continued to tumble Monday, and analysts said the worst might be over for now, although prices remain more than 40 cents higher in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky than at this time last year.

The Enquirer checked gas prices Friday throughout the Tristate. Click here to view a detailed study of the results.

(Acrobat PDF file, 236k)

The Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), AAA and the government's Energy Information Administration all listed the national average at below $2 a gallon Monday.

"Gas prices will do about as well as the Reds did against Cleveland," Tom Kloza, director of OPIS, a Lakewood, N.J.-based publisher of industry data, said in reference to the Reds losing three straight games this past weekend.

Saturday, the average price in Southwest Ohio fell 12 cents from the previous week to $1.88 a gallon, according to the oil price service. In Northern Kentucky, the average price dropped 10 cents to $1.94 a gallon. Prices locally remain below the national average.

Chris Henry of Columbus fills up at the Shell station on the corner of Martin Luther King Drive and Colerain Ave. in Mt. Washington Monday.
(Gary Landers photo)
Analysts said prices should continue to drop all summer.

"We've probably seen the end of $2 gas this year," said Steve Harper, chairman of the Kentucky Petroleum Marketers Association.

Lower prices are due to falling crude oil prices, triggered in part by OPEC's recent decision to boost production.

Dave Brune, 38, of Anderson Township, said he used to fill up his family's SUV and minivan with premium gasoline but switched to regular when prices soared. He's recently moved up a notch to mid-grade.

"Maybe it's all in the head, but I've definitely noticed the drop" in prices, he said.


E-mail jfenton@enquirer.com


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