After weeks of rising gasoline prices Georgia price at the pumps begin to drop

Georgia gasoline demand drop due to COVID illustrated by closeup of a gasoline pump nozzleGasoline pump nozzle (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

After a sharp spike in gasoline prices, due in part to the ransomware incident that caused Colonial Pipeline to cut off a large portion of the gasoline supply to the east coast, prices in Georgia dropped three cents over the past week

According to the weekly press release from Montrae Waiters, the spokeswoman for AAA – The Auto Club Group, Georgia drivers are now paying an average of $2.93 per gallon.

“Although the pipeline is currently operating, some gas stations across Georgia continue to see fuel outages as supply logistics work to return to normal,“ said Waiters. “While pump prices are anticipated to increase due to high demand for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, we don’t expect higher gas prices to deter motorists from hitting the road since many Americans are eager to travel.”

Gasoline price in Cobb County

The price of a gallon of regular unleaded in Cobb County is $2.964 at the time of this writing, about three cents more expensive than the statewide average.

It is always possible to find lower gas prices than the average by comparison shopping or using tools like http://gasbuddy.com.

National trend in gasoline prices

AAA wrote in its weekly report to the news media:

Since last Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has decreased by 1 cent to $3.03.

After a week of pump price spikes, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline held steady at $3.04 for six days, following a ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline that halted its operations and severely constrained the delivery of gasoline along the East Coast and Southeast. According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic refinery utilization increased slightly to 86.3 percent last week, while total domestic supply decreased by 2 million barrels to 234.2 million barrels and demand increased from 8.8 million barrels a day to 9.2 million barrels a day. With the gasoline distribution system continuing to recover from the attack and grappling with a shortage of gasoline tanker drivers, higher refinery utilization rates will ensure refined products, including gasoline, continue to flow where they are most needed. As demand and supply move in sync, the national average is expected to continue stabilizing. However, we could see some fluctuation this week with the lead up to Memorial Day Weekend, during which AAA forecasts 34 million Americans to take road trips.

The Colonial Pipeline outage

The recent surge in gasoline prices is a direct result of the panic-buying brought on by the successful cyberattack against Colonial Pipeline.

Colonial Pipeline, which supplies about 45 percent of the gasoline for the East Coast, was hit by a ransomware attack on Friday May 7.

The attack locked up the company’s computer systems, and the company shut down pipeline operations

Colonial reportedly payed a $5 million ransom to the hacker group DarkSide, and the pipline company resumed the flow of gasoline on Wednesday May 12.

How does AAA determine gas prices?

According to AAA:

AAA updates fuel price averages daily at www.GasPrices.AAA.com. Every day up to 130,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline.

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