First U.S. Gas Station Drops Below $2 a Gallon

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$2 gasoline is back in the U.S.

An Oncue Express station in Oklahoma City was selling the motor fuel for $1.99 a gallon today, becoming the first one to drop below $2 in the U.S. since July 30, 2010, Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy Organization Inc., said by e-mail from Chicago.

“We knew when we saw crude oil prices drop last week that we’d break the $2 threshold pretty soon, but we didn’t know if it would happen in South Carolina, Texas, Missouri or Oklahoma,” said DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. “Today’s national average, $2.74, now makes the current price we pay a whopping 51 cents per gallon less than what we paid a year ago.”

Gasoline is sliding after OPEC decided last week not to cut production amid a global glut of oil that has already dragged international oil prices down by 37 percent in the past five months. Pump prices have fallen by almost a dollar since reaching this year’s high on April 26.

Fifteen percent of the nation’s gas stations are selling fuel below $2.50 a gallon, “and it may not be long before others join OnCue Express in that exclusive club that’s below $2,” said Gregg Laskoski, another senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.

Retail gasoline averaged $2.746 a gallon in the U.S. yesterday, data compiled by Florida-based motoring club AAA show. Stations will cut prices by another 15 to 20 cents a gallon as they catch up to the plunge in oil, Michael Green, a Washington-based spokesman for AAA, said by e-mail today.

International benchmark North Sea Brent oil fell 62 cents, or 0.9 percent, to settle at $69.92 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, the lowest close since May 25, 2010. Gasoline futures slipped 0.46 cent in New York to $1.807 a gallon.