PORTLAND, OR -- Pump prices fell again this week, pushed by lower demand and crude oil prices. The national average for regular lost two cents, landing at $3.76, while Oregon’s average dropped 11 cents to $4.95 a gallon. In Bend, drivers are paying an average of $5.03; seven cents less than a week ago.
Some drivers have expressed worry about whispers of a diesel shortage. But, AAA-Oregon's Marie Dodds says that rumor is simply not true, "Diesel supplies are tight in parts of the U.S., especially in parts of the eastern U.S. However, there is no diesel shortage."
Dodds says concerns started when the U.S. Energy Information Administration released their weekly supply numbers, "The U.S. has 25.9 days’ worth of diesel supply." But she says many people have misinterpreted what that means, "What that number refers to is that if the U.S. didn’t produce diesel or import diesel, that would be the amount of diesel the U.S. has. Well, clearly, diesel production is not going to stop." She says neither is the importing of diesel. Dodds also points to other times in the past few years when the weekly supply numbers have briefly hovered around the same place.
If there were a shortage, she says, diesel prices wouldn't be falling. The national average slipped a penny this week, to $5.31. Oregon’s average for a gallon of diesel dropped a nickel to $5.61.
Overall, the current trend for fuel prices is good news for drivers planning Thanksgiving road trips, "We don’t see anything that would send prices skyrocketing again. So, barring unforeseen events, pump prices should continue to fall for the next few weeks," says Dodds, "Now, with that said, is it possible that we will see small increases, especially in areas that get a lot of tourists for Thanksgiving? Yes."
Gas price averages in Portland, Medford and Bend all remain above $5 a gallon.