Connecticut drivers are starting to see some relief after months of rising gasoline prices following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the resulting destabilization of the crude oil market. The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in Connecticut today was $4.552 – a decrease of 43.1 cents over the last month, according to AAA.
Meanwhile, depending on where you live in the state you may save a lot or spend more.
GasBuddy.com users in Windham reported Connecticut’s lowest gasoline price today at $3.98 at Fuel Plus on Boston Post Road. Users also reported a per-gallon price of $3.99 at three other stations in town. It was the first time in months that anyone had reported a gasoline price under $4 per gallon.
The state’s highest price appeared to be In New Canaan, which was $5.40 per gallon at the Mobil on South Street.
Amy Parmenter, a spokesperson for AAA Greater Hartford, points out that a year ago the average price was $1.395 lower than today’s, at $3.157, so there’s still room for the market correction to continue.
How Long Has The Gas Price Been Rising?
The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline topped $4 in Connecticut – as well as across the nation – in early March, according to Parmenter.
She said that the current drop in the price of crude oil has been the primary driver in the decreasing price of gasoline here.
“As we see the price of oil drop, we see gas prices drop along with it because oil makes up the most significant factor in the price that consumers pay at the pump,” Parmenter said. “So it certainly is good news. A little premature for a celebration because we’re still seeing gas prices higher than they’ve ever been at this time of year. So even though we’ve dropped significantly in the last month, we still have a long way to go before we get back to what would be considered, let’s say normal.
Parmenter also said that AAA is predicting that gas prices will continue to decline as long as there are no new geopolitical disruptions or weather events, such as a hurricane that shuts down refineries on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
That said, AAA is now also reporting a drop in demand for gasoline as well.
“According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand dropped from 9.41 million [barrels per day] to 8.06 million last week, while total domestic gas stocks increased by 5.8 million bbl. The decrease in demand, alongside declining oil prices, has helped to push pump prices down. As these supply/demand dynamics hold, drivers will likely continue to see price relief at the pump.”
Key Dates: Feb. 24 and May 10
Crude oil prices jumped following the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. Crude Oil WTI was $92.81 per barrel on Feb. 24, according to various tracking services, but by March 8 it had raced up to $123.70 before a bumpy but generally downward ride to $99.76 on May 10.
But on May 10, with the Russian invasion still well underway, the European Union announced that it would ban Russian oil exports within the next six months. Russia provides about 10% of the world’s crude oil, so the EU’s announcement sent the price of crude oil back up, peaking at $122.11 on June 8. The price has since dropped to $97.64 per barrel today.
During that period, gasoline prices spiked around the world, including a new record average price per gallon here in the US of $5.016 on June 14. Connecticut’s average on the same date was also the highest ever at $4.984.