Regular unleaded gas was selling for $2.89 a gallon at Buc-ees in Daytona Beach Sunday evening as Thanksgiving travelers were returning home–as low a price as the Flagler-Volusia region has known since the war in Ukraine triggered soaring prices at the beginning of the year.
But the difference in price locally could be startling, with a 60-cent-per-gallon gap between prices at Buc-ees and at gas stations in Palm Coast, or a $9 difference for a 15-gallon fill-up.
On Monday, the average price for a gallon of unleaded in Florida was $3.384, with the lowest prices–near or below $3–in the far western Panhandle, and the highest prices in South and North-central Florida, including in Flagler County, where the average was $3.50, nearer the national average of $3.55.
Prices along Palm Coast Parkway and State Road 100 this morning were in the $3.45 to $3.49 a gallon range, falling to $3.39 toward Flagler Beach and Bunnell a few stations closer to $3.55 elsewhere. The average price in Volusia was almost 20 cents lower, with most stations between Ormond Beach and Daytona Beach selling gas below $3.30. This morning Buc-ees continued to sell regular for $2.89, and Sam’s Club, where members of the wholesale club could buy gas, was selling it for $2.81.
Last week Florida gas prices dropped an average of 7 cents per gallon as millions of Floridians took the roads. State average prices have been on a 17-day streak of decline, with still lower prices expected ahead. On Monday, oil was trading at $77 a barrel, the lowest price all year, capping a 20 percent drop over the past three weeks. It was last that low in the first week of the year, when trend was going in the opposite direction.
“Gas prices are being pressured lower by steep drops in the price of oil, and strong gains in domestic gasoline supplies,” said Mark Jenkins, AAA’s spokesman. “Unless there’s a shift in fundamentals, the state average could sink even lower this week, with the potential of dipping below $3.30 per gallon in the next week or two.”
Meanwhile, oil companies have been piling up unprecedented profits. “Net income for the world’s oil and gas producers,” the Paris-based International Energy Agency reports in its annual outlook, “is set to double in 2022 to an unprecedented $4 trillion,” or one-fifth the size of the entire American economy, and more than the entire economic output of Germany, the world’s fourth-largest economy. Put another way: oil and gas company profits amount to $500 for every living human being on the planet, whose population just surpassed the 8 billion mark.
Exxon alone reported profits of $20 billion just for the three-month period between July and September, breaking its record, set in the previous record, by 10 percent. While other stocks have been falling, Exxon’s stock has continued to rise, reaching a record $114 just before the Thanksgiving break, up from $61 before the war in Ukraine–an 86 percent increase.
Chevron reported profits of $11.2 billion. Shell reported profits of $9.5 billion in the third quarter of the year, double the profits it recorded in the same period the previous year. BP had profits of $8.2 billion. Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil-producing monopoly and the world’s largest, reported profits of $42.4 billion just in the third quarter.