CHARLESTON, W.Va. — If you haven’t been to the gas station in the past few days, you’re in for a surprise.

“We’re down almost 13 cents as of a week ago. We’ve made a really nice down trend,” said AAA Charleston district manager Crissy Gray.

In fact, most of the nation is seeing lower gas prices.

“The current gas average nationwide is $3.07 a gallon. In West Virginia we’re coming in at $3.16 a gallon which is lower than what we have seen,” said Gray.

It has been four years since gas in West Virginia dipped below the $3 mark on a consistent basis. Back in December 2011, the average was $2.78. Since then it’s bounced around between $3 and $4.

According to the experts, the reason why we’re seeing lower prices is that the U.S. is producing more of its  own gas, with the domestic supplies up 50 percent in the last five years. The nation is relying less and less on oil from the middle east.

Gray said with cheaper prices we could see more people hitting the road in the next couple of months.

“I think it’s encouraging just for people with holiday travel coming up. It just puts the light at the end of the tunnel. (Gas) is one strain they’re not going to have to work with,” Gray said.

In Charleston on Friday, gas hit $2.99 a gallon. According to the cheapest place to fill up is in Clarksburg at $2.94. The most expensive gas is in the eastern panhandle at $3.39.

Gray said more and more drivers are shopping around when it comes time to fill their tanks.

“People are price comparing and using tools to get cheaper gas like Kroger points as well as different credit cards like the one at Shell stations. I’m seeing people really look for different ways to get the most for their value,” Gray said.

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  • The bookman

    Demand has leveled in this country, and has actually decreased since 2004. Better vehicle mileage, less overall miles travelled, and the economic collapse in 2008 took its toll on gasoline demand. Government has guided the industry to improved mileage through higher CAFE standards. But it was the higher prices at the pump that contributed the most to the demand destruction we see occurring over the last ten years.

    Any informed analysis tells you that this reduction is largely due to slower demand growth in China resulting from the cooling of their economy and the over abundance of oil coming from non OPEC sources. OPEC countries are openly competing for market share and a new target price significantly below $100 per barrel is being sought by the cartel. The demand destruction in the U.S. is well documented and consistent. The markets have acclimated to that fact. It is the other factors that have the futures market in a bear market, down over 20% from highs in June 2014.

    CAFE isn't achieving this. Nether is the President. This is the evidence that OPEC is no longer able to manipulate the price of a barrel of oil.

  • Royalty

    Totally agree with everything you said.

  • Royalty

    I am a West Virginian who has inherited oil royalty rights in oil-rich states (Oklahoma and Texas most notably) of this country. For years, these royalties weren't earning a whole lot of money (they were still earning some but not much). About five years ago, domestic oil companies started to become more and more interested in the domestic production of oil. What I have been told is that at some point, a lot of our properties were once thought to be dried up. However, that was based on old technology. With new technology, oil companies have found ways to extract plenty of oil from once-thought dried-up wells. This new technology was the result of the increase in the price of imported oil which in turn caused domestic companies to try and figure out a cheaper/domestic way to produce our own oil. And, they are succeeding. My family is now making good money off of these once-forgotten domestic lands. So, I wouldn't give credit to anything political. Otherwise, I would give it to the domestic oil producers. By the way, believe me, I'm a person that would have never thought that I would give companies like Exon credit for anything, but they do deserve it on this issue.

  • ViennaGuy

    - There is the domestic demand side too which has stabilized partly because of government policies. -

    HH, which policies would that be? I have been asking people which administration policies have led to lower gas prices, and no one has been able to answer me with specifics.

    It is true that there's been an increase in drilling in the past few years, but that drilling has been almost entirely on private land. Drilling on public land has nearly ceased; the administration still refuses to make a decision on things like the Keystone Pipeline, and the administration has banned drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf until 2017(with some areas banned from drilling until 2022). I do not know of any demand-side policies which have acted to lower gas prices.

  • george

    ELECTION YEAR....................

  • epteach

    Winchester, VA (20 miles south of Martinsburg): 2.699/gal

    Martinsburg, WV: 3.299/gal as of today.

    At a rate of 25 gallons per week $0.60/gal = $15/week x 52 weeks = $780 over a period of a year. Pretty nice saving. (the price has always averaged about $0.50 less per gallon)...

  • Silas Lynch

    Come on people, regardless of who is in office or even which party is in power, right before each election gasoline seems to drop in price. Which proves, "BIG OIL" is bi-partisan and will do political favors for any that offer them--- question is: What promises are being made to them in return for them temporarily dropping their prices?

  • Hillybilly

    Keyser is still ripping everyone off !!!!!!!!!!

  • The bookman

    I believe the comment was a stab at those who blame this President's economic and energy policies for the state of our economy. This move has nothing to do with anything the President has done to address our consumer energy costs. His environmentally driven energy policy is unbalanced, and his support of the Fed's monetary policy have kept fuel prices inflated.

    Winter blends do not explain the current drop in price, and this correction has been coming for awhile. Not even political unrest in the Middle East and Ukraine has held back the arrival of this bear market on petroleum. The markets are oversupplied as the U.S. and China sit on over 600 million barrels of crude in storage, levels never before achieved post summer driving season.

    Members of OPEC have cited a 500,000 barrel/day oversupply above demand. Oil exporting countries rely heavily on those revenues to support their economies. They must export more oil as prices fall just to pay the bills, and squeeze more market share from countries who cannot discount their price. What we are watching are world markets searching for a price based on production and consumption instead of manipulation. We, the consumer, always benefit from free market forces.

    Most analysts agree that we have not reached the bottom, so look forward to falling prices into the new year.

  • Mountain Navy

    Was in Richmond Virginia today $2.59.

  • JTC

    Winter blend gas is cheaper, glut on market, the war in Middle East just does not carry water anymore when trying to justify price increases. More domestic oil being produced. But in the end it is Obama's fault!

  • The bookman

    Our economy is less than stellar, and the demand from Asia hasn't materialized to the degree projected by any of the long term forecasts. It is a supply and demand equation, with domestic production outpacing demand growth by 500,000 barrels/day. That oversupply is attributed to US and Russian production and Asia demand being soft.

    I asked of Harper's Ferry to produce any policy attributed to this administration that gives this President credit for assisting in the domestic production increases. Can you help him out? Or is your response simply an enunciation of your frustration that you can't connect this President to this great news for the American consumer?

  • Hop'sHip

    Again you are supply-side fixated. There is the domestic demand side too which has stabilized partly because of government policies. But I understand where you are coming from. Your ideology would refuse to allow that this President has done anything right with respect to the economy.

  • world economic malaise

    Gas prices are dropping because the world economy is not growing and demand is down (think EU in recession and China growing at a reduced rate). We are potentially poised for a deflationary period. Lower prices, but reduced economic activity, which means less ability for consumers to buy. Truth is the US economy is right now the most vibrant in the world. Presidents have little impact on that, be it the idiot Bush during his catastrophic presidency (think the Iraq mess and the economic collapse of his last year in office, of yeah and that 9 /11 thing) or the current occumpent of the WH.

  • j

    It must be election season

  • Uncle Unctuous

    I believe it was a satiric statement rather than an attempt to give credit to BHO. (His middle name is Hussein - did you guys know?)

    It should also be mentioned that winter blend gasoline is cheaper to produce.

  • Woodchuck

    There is an election next month.

  • The bookman

    I'd be happy to give the President credit for this great news if you could point me in the direction of any policy advanced by the White House that led to increased domestic oil production or increased domestic refining capacity.

    The facts are that we are enjoying this reduction in energy cost because the private sector, Big Oil, have increased production in spite of the government, not due to any policy. Oil refiners are also figuring out new ways of increasing refining capacity by expansion of old existing operations and by building new, smaller operations that stop just short of refining ready to use fuel, then transporting that product to refineries that can finish the process.

    There are things he can do. Permitting more drilling on public lands would be a good start.

  • Hedgesville

    in Berkeley County we are still be gouged at $3.29 a gallon , but that is down from the $3.49 a week ago. our legislators say they looked into . a lot of nothing has happened. time to boycott these places and go to Va. and Md.

  • Gem-digger

    Not in the Potomac Highlands have gas prices dropped. We still pay $3.39 a gallon in Moorefield!!!

  • Harpers Ferry

    Obummer's fault!!!