Gasoline pump prices in Lafayette slipped below $2 Tuesday morning, as Sam’s Club, 3222 Ambassador Caffery Parkway, set its price for a gallon of regular gas at $1.98 in what may be a harbinger of continued low prices for the next three months.
Consumer gas price website GasBuddy.com reported Tuesday that three outlets on Evangeline Thruway, Murphy USA at 1229 NW Evangeline Thruway; Super 1 Foods, Willow and Evangeline Thruway; and Tobacco Plus, 107 SE Evangeline Thruway were selling regular gas for $2.01.
Gas pump prices initially fell below $2 in Lafayette on Dec. 24 and continued to fall until they reached the high $1.60 range. Prices began to rebound Feb. 3 and increases accelerated in Louisiana, finally moving the price per gallon north of $2 in Lafayette late in February. It has remained there since.
Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst in the Southeast for GasBuddy, said the website would release a second-quarter forecast for gas prices Tuesday afternoon. He said that nationwide, a gallon of gas will sell in the $2.25 to $2.45 a gallon range in April, $2.20-$2.45 in May and $2.15-$2.35 in June, according to GasBuddy’s projections.
Typically, an average price of gasoline in Louisiana lags behind the national average. The average price of gasoline in Louisiana was $2.197 on Tuesday, the seventh-lowest statewide average in the country, while the nationwide average was $2.41 a gallon.
Around the state, eight gas outlets were selling a gallon of regular for less than $2 in Alexandria on Tuesday. The low price in Shreveport was $2.05; in Monroe, $2.03; in Opelousas, $2.05.
Laskoski said the drop in prices in Louisiana have been small — just 2 cents since last week — similar to the drop in prices nationwide. Gas prices in Louisiana are considered to be stable. But some areas of the country have seen prices rise because of the routine seasonal switch from a heavier weight of gasoline for winter use to lighter, more expensive prices for summer fuel.
The recent refinery strikes in 12 locations nationwide adversely affect consumers in some areas, but not Louisiana, he said. Here, a surplus of gasoline kept prices low, while gas prices in California, Chicago and the Great Lakes areas all rose.
GasBuddy conducts a daily survey of 2,436 gas outlets in the state.
Zhejiang Yaang Pipe Industry Co., Limited (www.yaang.com)