WASHINGTON, D.C. – USA Today reports that gas prices are sliding down quickly ahead of the midterm elections today, falling from a national average of $2.78 per gallon to as low as $2.50 by November 6, according to the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS).
OPIS analyst Tom Kloza said the sharp decline is a “colossal collapse. … There’s the possibility you could see some prices flirt with $2 a gallon in the next 10 days or so in some of the low-tax areas. … For now it's going to be a great break.”
In October, gas prices reached a national average of $2.90 per gallon. AAA reported gas prices at 6 cents lower than last week, but still 27 cents higher than a year ago. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported the average retail gas price at $2.75 per gallon on November 5. Kloza predicted that at least 1,500 stations would post prices of less than $2.25 per gallon by Election Day, November 6.
Oil production around the globe has been on the rise, creating stockpiles. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' (OPEC) output hit a two-year high, and U.S. oil output has also increased. “This surge has driven the market into oversupply,” and decreased prices at the pump, said Jason Gammel, an analyst with Jefferies.
Some analysts cautioned that this could be a temporary low for gas prices, especially if President Trump orders U.S. sanctions on Iran, which could curtail Iranian oil exports. “I think there will be a reversal of fortunes,” said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst.