Gas prices fall below $4 a gallon for the first time in months

The national average price for regular gasoline fell to $3.99 a gallon Thursday, according to AAA.

Gas prices hit a record high of $5.02 in June as drivers filled their tanks for the summer travel season. They were also pushed higher by rising global oil prices as the West turned its back on Russian crude in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

But prices at the pump have since fallen 21% as drivers cut spending and fears of a recession threatened to dampen demand. Despite the decline, they are still 25% higher than this time last year.

“Despite steadily falling gas prices during the peak summer driving season, fewer drivers fueled up last week,”[ads1]; AAA said in a news release Monday.

“It’s another sign that Americans are temporarily changing their driving habits to cope with higher pump prices.”

US crude oil prices have also fallen sharply from a peak above $120 a barrel in June to around $92 a barrel on Thursday, helped by an easing of the global supply crisis.

In a report released Thursday, the International Energy Agency revised its outlook for global oil supplies, partly because Russia has continued to pump more oil than expected.

“While Russia’s exports of crude oil and oil products to Europe, the United States, Japan and Korea have fallen by almost 2.2 [million barrels per day] Since the start of the war, the diversion of flows to India, China, Türkiye and others, along with seasonally higher Russian domestic demand, has moderated losses upstream,” the Paris-based agency said.

In July, Russian oil production was just 310,000 barrels per day below pre-war levels, while total oil exports were down by just 580,000 barrels per day, it added.

The release of 180 million barrels of oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve has also helped to increase supply.

Matt Egan contributed reporting.

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