Gasoline prices have continued to fall in much of the nation according to price-tracker GasBuddy.com. But while the trend has continued, a long-standing trend has been broken. For the first Monday in the last 119 (a total of 833 days), the national average stands higher than it did a year ago. The national average fell 1.8 cents in the last week to $2.22 per gallon, while diesel prices rose an average of 0.2 cents per gallon to $2.42 per gallon.
Oil prices rose 91 cents per barrel last week, the third weekly increase, but barely maintained the $50-per-barrel level as continued doubts over the likelihood of OPEC and non-OPEC countries cutting oil production in the weeks ahead lingered. A barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil started the week last week at $49.94 per barrel, closing Friday at $50.85 per barrel after rising as high as $51.60 on Wednesday.
Oil prices remain at elevated levels and are well supported as OPEC's main meeting in Vienna draws closer. Continued speculation was that OPEC is preparing to cut oil production, with support from non-OPEC countries, such as Russia, as well. While cutting oil production could act as a floor to oil prices, U.S. frackers are carefully watching the situation and may enter the market again after getting out of the market due to low oil prices the last two years.