By Kimberley Donoghue
PBN Web Editor
PROVIDENCE – Prices at the pump in Rhode Island are slated to end the year with the lowest average prices since February, according to AAA Southern New England.
The auto club’s Dec. 27 survey found the average price of self-serve, unleaded regular gasoline at Ocean State stations was $3.33 per gallon, continuing a now six-consecutive week decline. The price is 1 cent lower than last week and 18 cents lower than six weeks ago.
Nationally, prices averaged $3.24. In Massachusetts it stood at $3.25.
A year ago, Rhode Islanders paid an average of $3.15 at the pumps.
According to Bloomberg News, New York gasoline strengthened after shipments were allocated on the largest line delivering oil products from U.S. Gulf Coast refineries to the Northeast.
Colonial Pipeline Co. allocated deliveries on Line 1, its main line carrying gasoline, for Cycle 1, according to a Dec. 26 bulletin to shippers.
The premium for conventional, 87-octane gasoline at New York Harbor rose 0.25 cents to 3 cents a gallon versus futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 9:25 a.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Prompt delivery increased 0.03 cents to $2.715 a gallon.
Colonial plans to expand capacity on Line 1, running from Houston to Greensboro, N.C., by 100,000 barrels a day to accommodate growing demand, the company said in a Dec. 21 statement. The main lines from North Carolina deliver about 1.4 million barrels a day to Linden, N.J.
The discount for regular gasoline in the Gulf Coast widened 0.38 cents to 5.38 cents versus futures.
Western Refining Inc. flared gases at the El Paso plant in Texas as it started a fluid catalytic cracker unit, according to a Dec. 26 filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Bloomberg said.
At stations in Rhode Island this week, the survey found average self-serve prices of $3.55 per gallon for midgrade unleaded, $3.69 for premium unleaded gasoline and $3.93 for diesel.