Arkansas fuel pump prices begin to fall below the $2 mark

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 213 views 

Gas prices have dipped well below the $2 mark in most areas of state, and a number of locations in several isolated urban areas in Central Arkansas, Texarkana, Fort Smith and Jonesboro have dipped below $1.90 per gallon, according to

As of Thursday morning, pump prices across the state of Arkansas were averaging about $2.09 per gallon for regular unleaded, down 6.1 cents from a week ago and 21.7 cents from a month ago, according to’s real-time gas price index.

In its short-term energy outlook released on Wednesday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said it expects monthly gasoline prices nationally to decline from the August level to an average of $2.11 per gallon during the fourth quarter of 2015. Regular gasoline monthly retail prices across the U.S. averaged $2.64 per gallon in the month of August, a decrease of 16 cents from July and 85 cents lower than the same period a year ago.

The AAA said the 2015 summer driving season ended with the national average at its lowest point for the Labor Day holiday in more than a decade. Motorists paid an average price of $2.40 per gallon at the pump during the four-day weekend, a savings of $1.04 per gallon in comparison to a year ago.

The conclusion of the summer driving season also signals the start of the seasonal switchover to winter-blend gasoline in many parts of the country next week. The Environmental Protection Agency requires certain areas to use a specified blend of gasoline, commonly referred to as summer-blend gasoline, in order to address air quality issues during the summer months. The more expensive summer-blend gasoline is not required during the winter and prices tend to fall following the completion of this seasonal switchover later this month.

However, the EIA recently reported that refineries are operating at a higher than normal utilization rates and more maintenance is scheduled for this year compared to previous years. Analysts say that could slow the rate of anticipated declines in the price at the pump, but it is not expected to cause a reversal of direction.

Still, senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan said although the summer vacation season is over, low pump prices will continue.

“More than one in ten stations in the country now offer gasoline prices at $1.99 per gallon or less, and gas prices in 48 of the nation’s 50 states fell in the run-up to the holiday itself, showing that holidays aren’t always a catalyst for price increases,” DeHaan said. “As we begin to near the terminus for summer gasoline, I expect prices to continue moving lower, with our projections aiming at a sub-$2/gal average by Christmas – or perhaps even earlier.”