Last week, the International Energy Agency (IEA) announced the release of 60 million barrels of oil into the market. The U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve will provide 30 million barrels, while the remaining barrels will come from other countries. The decision was made after OPEC failed to come to any agreements at their June 8 meeting to increase productions quotas to help alleviate high oil prices and make up for the loss of Libyan sweet crude.
Before the IEA made the announcement, oil prices were dropping as a result of slowed economic growth, both nationally and internationally, and Europe’s debt issues. Followed with the release of oil reserves, crude prices fell Friday to settle at $91.16 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange—$1.85 less than last week.
"The IEA’s decision to release oil reserves into the market is part of an effort to help stimulate the economy by making gas prices less of a burden on consumers and hopefully create more disposable income," said Jessica Brady, spokesperson, AAA Auto Club South. "Although oil prices were falling before the IEA announcement, the reserves will help keep downward pressure on oil prices and cause retail gas prices to drop even further during the coming weeks. On average gas prices have fallen about 5 cents a week and the trend is expected to continue."
The national average price of unleaded regular gasoline is $3.57 a gallon, 8 cents less than last week. Florida’s average price of $3.54 and Tennessee’s average price of $3.40 both reflect a 5-cent decrease from last week. Georgia’s average price of $3.50 reflects a 6-cent decrease from last week, respectively. Many discounters are offer $3.21 per gallon for regular gas here in the ‘Boro.