Energy agency: Labor Day weekend gas prices lowest in three years

The average price of gasoline is the lowest heading into Labor Day that it has been in three years, the Energy Information Administration said.

The EIA’s national average gas price was $3.45 a gallon this week, the lowest since 2010. That price is 9.8 cents lower than it was a year ago, and 25 cents lower than at the end of June.

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The agency attributed the low prices to the price of crude oil, especially the North Sea Brent crude benchmark.

“The recent decreases in the Brent spot price likely reflect the market's perception of reduced risk for Iraqi oil exports as well as reports of increasing Libyan oil exports,” the EIA said Friday.

“Additionally, some economic indicators released over the summer suggest that global demand growth may be weaker than expected. Finally, the end of the third quarter and early fourth quarter mark the autumn maintenance season for refineries, and reduced crude buying ahead of maintenance is likely putting some downward pressure on prices.”

Labor Day is traditionally the end of the heavy summer driving season.

Prices vary greatly by region. The average is the lowest on the Gulf Coast, at $3.24 a gallon, and highest on the West Coast, at $3.83 a gallon, a difference the EIA blamed mainly upon the Gulf region’s proximity to refineries. 

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