Gas prices down, year has been erratic one

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Average retail gasoline prices in New Mexico have fallen 3.2 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.03/gallon yesterday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 1,105 gas outlets in New Mexico. This compares with the national average that has increased 3 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.27/gallom, according to gasoline price website www.GasBuddy.com.

Including the change in gas prices in New Mexico during the past week, prices yesterday were 11.2 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago, and are 22.8 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 13.2 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 1.7 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

“2012 was a year that focused the spotlight on our nation’s oil refineries; it showed us the vulnerability of our infrastructure and what can happen to prices at the pump when infrastructure is compromised,” said petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan, www.GasBuddy.com. “We began the year with a BP refinery fire in Cherry Point, Wash. that caused massive spikes on the West Coast. The spring delivered challenges for Great Lakes refineries and pushed Chicago gas prices to a record high. Similarly, the California summer saw major refinery outages there and new record-high prices.”

“Hurricane Sandy delivered a punishing blow to the East Coast, causing refinery shutdowns, flooding and power outages,” said another petroleum analyst, Gregg Laskoski.

The resulting fuel shortage triggered mile-long lines for gas. New York gasoline spiked to a price level exceeding Honolulu and Anchorage as the highest in the U.S. With elevated prices across much of the country for prolonged periods, 2012 brought the highest average price ever for U.S. consumers: $3.60 per gallon. For a closer look at the GasBuddy Year in Review, visit www.scribd.com/GasBuddy or view the document directly: www.scribd.com/doc/117521912/GasBuddyYIR.