standing gas pump

PROVIDENCE — Motorists in Rhode Island have been treated to cheaper prices at the pump in the past week, and its a trend that officials said may continue into the summer.

A survey Monday found the price for a gallon of self-serve, regular unleaded to be averaging $2.76 per gallon, roughly five cents cheaper than a week ago and 10 cents cheaper than one month ago, according to AAA Northeast.

“Refinery utilization in the U.S. is at its highest level since early January, resulting in supplies at healthy levels to meet robust consumer demand,” said Lloyd Albert, senior vice president of public and government affairs for AAA Northeast.

The increased supply could also lead to further price drops in the coming weeks, which Albert said could be great news for summer travelers.

“Prices are dropping due to cheaper crude oil and at the same time U.S. supply is keeping pace with demand," he said. "The national average is poised to fall to at least $2.70 this week — an indication that pump prices may be even cheaper this summer.”

Rhode Island’s price is two cents higher than the national average for regular unleaded of $2.74. A year ago at this time, the average price in Rhode Island was nineteen cents higher at $2.95.

The range in prices in the latest AAA survey for unleaded regular is 35 cents, from a low of $2.54 to a high of $2.89.

— Jason Vallee

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