$2.88 a Gallon Gas Price War Cause for Motorists' Joy

PHOTO: A driver jumps for joy as he fills his car with gas costing below $3 per gallon in Florence, Ky.
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Looking to fill up with gas on the cheap? Then head over to Florence, Ky., where at $2.88 a gallon, gas prices have reached levels most motorists have not seen in years.

In Florence, near the Ohio border and about 11 miles southwest of Cincinnati, drivers are jumping for joy on Burlington Pike and US 42 as they fill their tanks.

But it's not an oil rush that's causing the cheaper prices but a gas station that opened over the weekend, as reported by ABC affiliate WCPO. The new Murphy Express station offered customers a grand opening special of $2.88 a gallon for regular and the nearby stations have likewise dropped prices.

"Everyone seems to be matching," said Clint Brodsky, an employee at the IGA Express nearby where regular gas has been $2.88 for the last two days.

Only days ago at another nearby station Speedway, gas was $3.39. But like the other stations in the area, it's now $2.88.

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The national average is $3.26 a gallon, down 3 cents from last week and 23 cents from a year ago, according to the Energy Department's weekly read on gas prices. Meanwhile, the average in the rest of Florence is $2.95, according to GasBuddy.com, and the average price for regular in the closest city, Cincinnati, is $3.21. Prices last averaged $2.88 in Cincinnati Dec. 13, 2011, says GasBuddy.com.

Residents should enjoy the welcome break on their pocketbooks while it lasts. Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.com, said price wars can last hours, or a few days at most.

"Few last longer than that, as the losses stack up, especially with consumers flocking to loss-leading gas price," DeHaan said.

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DeHaan said price wars can lead to declines of 30 to 50 cents per gallon in one day.

"This is certainly a boon to motorists who can take advantage," he said.

In addition to the local price war in Florence, gas prices have been more volatile lately because of a fuel system vulnerable to short-term shocks. While gas manufacturers try to keep a tight inventory schedule, refiners are trying to keep low stocks of gasoline to save money.

Lately though, DeHaan said the reason for lower gas prices in the nation can be attributed to falling crude prices amid slackening demand, rising domestic production of crude oil and a lack of hurricanes that disrupt production.

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