South Sound gas prices lowest since February 2011

Staff writerNovember 23, 2013 

02GasPrices_S

Customers fill the pumps at the Shell gas station in westside Olympia, where regular unleaded was selling for $3.39 per gallon on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. (TONY OVERMAN/Staff photographer)

TONY OVERMAN — The Olympian Buy Photo

You’ ll remember this time fondly when gas prices jump over the $4-a-gallon mark next spring.

Gas prices in the Tacoma area on Friday, $3.23 a gallon on average, were 77 cents a gallon below that $4 level, according to TacomaGasPrices.com.

The Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater region wasn’ t far behind — $3.28, according to AAA’ s Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

The $3.23 average price of a gallon of unleaded regular in the Tacoma area was a penny below the national average Friday. That’ s a rare occurrence because of the relatively high gas taxes in Washington and the region’ s location far from the nation’ s network of pipelines in the Plains and Midwest.

Washington’ s statewide average, $3.28 a gallon, ranks 21st-highest in the nation, a far lower rank than it usually occupies. Pierce County’ s average price, $3.23 a gallon, would rank the county 26th in the nation if it were a state.

In Pierce County, three stations were selling gas for less than $3 a gallon Friday. The lowest price was at a Graham Safeway where fuel was selling for $2.97 a gallon.

In the Olympia area, the lowest prices were somewhat higher. Three stations — Safeway on Cooper Point Road and Arco stations at 7291 and 10222 Martin Way E. — were tied as the price leader in Thurston County with gas on sale for $3.09 a gallon.

The country’ s lowest-price fuel can be found in Oklahoma, where the average price is $2.95 a gallon. The highest price is Hawaii’ s $3.96 a gallon.

Gas prices in this area in the last month haven’ t been so low since February 2011. Friday’ s average here, however, is up three cents or so from the year’ s low late last week.

Those present averages have fallen by nearly 18 cents a gallon in the last month. They’ re also about 14 cents less per gallon than they were at this time last year.

Energy experts point to the lack of a current crisis in the Mideast, expanding oil production in the United States and the traditional decline in driving as winter nears for the price dro

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