The AAA and GasBuddy websites reported the lower gas prices in recent days, with GasBuddy reporting a $1.97 price at a couple of stations in the Kirkwood Highway area.
Membership clubs, BJ’s in Elsmere and Sam’s in Dover also matched the $1.97 price for members, GasBuddy reported.
Prices at the pump have dropped for 16 consecutive days, Wilmington-based The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline reached $2.21 per gallon today, down five cents in the last week.
Today’s average is the lowest since February 2015, and represents a savings of 59 cents per gallon compared to the 2015 peak price of $2.80 in mid-June.
Drivers are saving eight cents per gallon month-over-month and 19 cents since Labor Day.
The lower prices are coming in spite of stepped-up maintenance that has reduced production at many refineries. Even with that factor in place, inventories are building.
In the meantime, the benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell below $45 a barrel.
“Prices at the pump have fallen consistently for the past two weeks, busing ever-closer to the much-anticipated $2 per gallon mark,” said Jana L. Tidwell, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Ample domestic oil supplies have been a driving factor in keeping a ceiling on gas prices. “Barring any unanticipated disruptions in supply, and/or spikes in the price of crude oil, the national average could fall below the $2 per gallon threshold before the end of the year, a low not seen since 2009.”
More than half of the price at the pump is a reflection of crude oil prices, which have fallen steadily in recent weeks. Crude oil prices could shift lower because of weaker demand from a slowing Chinese economy and higher output from Iran, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).