AAA: Oil prices rebound, limiting potential gas price drop

Special to Gannett
gas prices

TAMPA, Fla. — Florida gas prices are still declining, but may not fall as far as originally projected, after oil prices regained strength last week. 

Two weeks ago, AAA began calling for a potential discount of 20-30 cents at the pump, after oil prices plummeted 16% after Thanksgiving. The crude price drop was based on concerns about the severity of the emerging omicron variant and whether it would potentially impact global economic growth and limit mobility.

However, about half of that price drop was erased last week as omicron concerns seemed to ease. After falling from $78 per barrel down to $65 two weeks ago, the price of crude settled back up at $71.67 on Friday. Despite the increase, oil prices are still lower than they were two weeks ago, and pump prices have still not yet fully adjusted.

"After plunging two weeks ago, the crude market regained strength last week," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "As a result, that 20-30 cent drop we were anticipating, could be more like 10-20 cents. Oil prices remain the main drivers of prices at the pump. So if oil prices increase again this week, drivers will again need to adjust their expectations."

Pump prices are slowly declining. The state average slipped 3 cents last week and a total of 10 cents in the past 23 days. Florida drivers are now paying an average price of $3.27 per gallon - the lowest daily average price since mid-November. 

Regional Prices

Most expensive metro markets – West Palm Beach-Boca Raton ($3.44), Naples ($3.35), Fort Lauderdale ($3.33)

Least expensive metro markets – Crestview-Fort Walton Beach ($3.14), The Villages ($3.16), Punta Gorda ($3.17)