Price of gas in Wyoming falls to lowest level in over a year
Wyoming gas prices — but not diesel — have dropped to their lowest levels in more than a year after soaring to new highs this summer.
Regular gasoline averaged about $3.08 per gallon across Wyoming on Monday, according to AAA, down from $3.28 last Monday, $3.69 a month ago and a peak of $4.90 on July 1. It cost just $2.46 per gallon in Natrona County.
On Dec. 12, 2021, a gallon of regular gas in Wyoming cost about $3.39. The state is one of about 34 where gas is now cheaper than it was last year.
“The seasonal pattern of less driving due to shorter days and crummy weather, combined with a lower oil cost, is driving gas prices lower,” Andrew Gross, an AAA spokesperson, said in a statement.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI), a U.S. oil benchmark, sank from a closing price of about $77 per barrel last Monday to just over $71 per barrel on Friday, barely higher than its price during the same week last year, according to Insider.
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The internationally set cost of oil is the primary driver of the cost of gasoline. Russia’s war in Ukraine caused supply shortages and alarmed the market earlier this year, contributing to spiking oil prices, and, as a result, an elevated price at the pump. A slow rebound in production in the wake of the pandemic also strained the global oil supply.
WTI closed above $120 per barrel for several consecutive days in June.
President Joe Biden, faced with limited options to ease prices, released tens of millions of barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve over the course of the year in an effort to boost supply.
The move drew criticism from oil companies and some Republicans in Congress, including Sen. John Barrasso, who co-authored a letter to Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm on Nov. 30 expressing concerns about the “unprecedented drawdowns and … mismanagement of the national security asset.”
Oil prices have since dropped into the $67 to $72 per barrel range, the price at which the White House has said it will begin replenishing the reserve.
Diesel prices, meanwhile, are sinking more slowly, due in part to a lingering bottleneck at the country’s declining number of refineries.
In Wyoming, the cost of diesel has fallen less than a dollar since its summer high — from $5.71 per gallon on June 29 to about $4.92 on Monday — putting strain on a higher-than-average share of Wyoming drivers and many key state industries, including freight transport and most of the mineral sector.