Nashville's gas price average dips again, nears $3 mark

The average per-gallon price of regular gas in Nashville on Sunday was $3.31, down four cents from the mark of a week ago and down 15 cents from the price of four weeks ago, according to AAA The Auto Club Group.

The drop marks the fourth consecutive week in which the city's average per-gallon price of regular gas dropped from the mark of the previous week.

Relatedly, Tennessee’s average price was $3.27 Sunday, four cents less compared to the figure from the previous week and down 18 cents compared to the mark from a month ago. The $3.27 is also the cheapest price since March.

Motorists heading to the gas pumps are finding the cheapest August gas prices since 2010. On Aug. 1, 2010, the national average price was $2.74. Since that time, average prices on Aug. 1 ranged from $3.52 in 2012 to $3.71 in 2011. The current average of $3.50 is three cents cheaper than the figure of last week, and the discount at the pump should continue in the near future, AAA reports.

"Typically gasoline prices fluctuate in July and August, but for the most part, prices have steadily declined," Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group, said in a release. "Oil prices decreased dramatically this week, so there's no reason gas prices should go up any time soon. In fact, if these conditions continue, prices could eventually slip below $3 a gallon by the end of the year. However, unexpected refinery outages, a spike in oil prices, or the mere threat of a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico could cause gas prices to rise."

Oil prices plummeted last week, AAA reports. The price for a barrel of WTI settled at 97.88 on the NYMEX Friday — $4.21 less than the mark compared to a week ago. That was the biggest weekly decline in seven months, and the lowest settlement since February. Refineries are running at record levels and there is more than enough gasoline in the market, which has helped bring down prices despite multiple overseas conflicts.

For comparison to Tennessee’s gas prices, the current average price for a gallon of regular unleaded in Florida is $3.41, five cents lower than the figure from last week and the cheapest price since February. In Georgia, the average price of $3.40 is three cents under last week’s mark and the cheapest price since March.