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Recent Drop in Gas Prices Provide Short Term Relief

For more information contact:

For more information contact:


Don Tormey, 515.725.0428,


Kay Snyder, 515.725.3150,

Recent Drop in Gas Prices Provide Short Term Relief


May 18, 2011 (Des Moines, Iowa) – Global oil prices continue to fluctuate as West Texas Intermediate (WTI) bounced back and forth in Tuesday trading before settling just below $97 a barrel. The recent downturn for crude oil has provided a welcome relief for Iowa drivers, who are finally seeing a decline in retail gas prices at the pump. The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline fell 4 cents week over week to $3.92 a gallon, but still remains 9 cents above last month, according to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.


“Over the last few days we have seen WTI crude oil close below $100 a barrel,” said Catherine Fought, Energy Data Analyst with the Office of Energy Independence, “if this trend continues, it will provide short term declines in retail gasoline pricing however, increased demand for gasoline during the summer months will keep upward pressure on gas prices.”   


Motor Fuels
Monthly reporting shows the average price of 10 percent, ethanol blended mid-grade gasoline in Iowa to be $3.86 per gallon as of May16, 2011, which is a 4.32 percent increase from the April 2011 price of $3.70. The average price for diesel on May 16th was $4.05 per gallon, which is a 0.74 percent decrease from the April price of $4.08 a gallon. For Iowa metro averages, please visit:






Regular Unleaded with 10% Ethanol




Regular Unleaded




Premium Unleaded











- $0.03

Source: Oil Price Information Service,




Crude Oil

On May 17th, a barrel of West Texas Cushing Sweet Crude Oil closed at $96.91, which is a 10.4 percent decrease compared to the previous month’s price of $108.15 and 38.3 percent higher than the May 2010 price of $70.08. However, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts oil markets to tighten through 2012 given projected world oil demand growth and slowing growth in supply from countries that are not members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).


Heating Fuels

On May 17th, natural gas closed at $4.20/MMbtu, down from last month’s price of $4.21/MMbtu and a year ago price of $4.41/MMbtu.  The EIA reports that working gas in storage was 1,827 Bcf as of Friday, May 6, 2011. This represents a decline of 12.0 percent from a year ago and a 2.0 percent decline from the 5-year average.   

Tips for saving energy on the road or at home are available at and To review weekly and monthly fuel price reports, please visit:





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