Gasoline prices in Chicago area fall double digits from record highs
BY FRANCINE KNOWLES Business Reporter email@example.com April 9, 2012 12:18PM
Updated: May 11, 2012 8:08AM
Gasoline prices continued their decline the past week, falling double digits from recent record highs.
In the Chicago area, the average price of unleaded regular gas Monday was $4.34 a gallon, down 17 cents from the record high of $4.506 reached March 27 and down 11 cents from April 2, according to AAA, Wright Express and the Oil Price Information Service.
In the city of Chicago, the average price was down 8 cents from a week earlier at $4.57 a gallon and down 11 cents from the record high of $4.678, also reached on March 27.
But despite the recent price drops, the average price of unleaded regular gas is 27 cents a gallon higher than a year ago in the Chicago metropolitan area and 33 cents higher in the city of Chicago.
Oil prices have been driven up this year due to fears of a potential Mideast conflict linked to Iran’s nuclear program. Recent pipeline disruptions, problems at refineries and the switch over to more expensive summer blends of gasoline also have driven prices higher, according to analysts.
Concerns about the economy pushed oil prices lower on Monday. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark crude, gave up 85 cents to end at $102.46 per barrel. Brent crude, which is used to price oil imported by U.S. refineries, fell by 76 cents to finish at $122.67 per barrel.
Oil markets were closed Friday when the government reported that the economy added 120,000 jobs in March, down from more than 200,000 in each of the previous three months. Fewer new jobs could mean oil and gasoline demand will rise less than expected this summer.