U.S. oil gains good for drivers, AAA says

Jan. 21, 2014 at 8:16 AM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- The shift away from oil produced by members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is a win for U.S. drivers, a AAA spokesman said Tuesday.

OPEC, in its monthly report for January, said demand for its crude oil should decline in 2014 by about 400,000 barrels per day. This comes as oil production in the United States, one of the world's leading energy consumers, increases.

Michael Green, a AAA spokesman, said in response to email questions this translates to a win for U.S. drivers.

"U.S. demand for OPEC oil is likely to continue to decline as domestic production increases and cars become more fuel efficient," he said Tuesday. "This is an enormous structural shift from the previous few decades and a win for American drivers, especially when compared to the oil crises of the 1970's."

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the United States continues its steady decline. Tuesday's national average of $3.28 was 7 cents cheaper than the same time last week, something Green said was largely a reflection of colder January temperatures.

"People have been driving less because the weather is cold and the days are short, which has reduced gasoline demand," he said. "Refinery production has more than met this weaker demand."

The National Weather Service said Tuesday an arctic air mass is headed into the Midwest and northeastern U.S. states while the mid-Atlantic and southern New England states should brace for a snow storm.

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