A major convenience store chain announced Monday that it will sell two gasoline blends below $4 a gallon through the Fourth of July weekend.
“Effective immediately, Sheetz, a major Mid-Atlantic restaurant and convenience chain, will help reduce pain at the pump for consumers by reducing the price of fuel to $3.99 a gallon for Unleaded 88 and $3.49 a gallon for E85,” the company said in a news release on its website.
“This is a limited-time offer that will be available through the July 4th holiday travel season,” the company said.
The company noted that drivers need to be sure their vehicles will run properly using the two blends.
“Unleaded 88 is approved by the EPA for use in vehicles for model years 2001 or newer as well as light-duty trucks, SUVs and Flex Fuel Vehicles,” the company noted, adding that E85 is less compatible with many vehicles.
“E85 contains more ethanol (51 percent – 83 percent) and is not compatible with all vehicles. It is designed specifically for ‘flexible fuel vehicles’ or FFVs. FFVs can use regular gasoline (E10), E15, or E85. When available, E85 is clearly designated as a different fuel type and should not be used in standard vehicles. Check your owner’s manual to see if your car is able to run with E85,” the company cautioned.
Sheetz has 640 store locations throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and North Carolina.
The website GasBuddy noted that consumers have received a breather from the onslaught of rising prices earlier in June, despite prices that remain well above those of a year ago.
GasBuddy said the average cost of a gallon of unleaded gasoline is $4.88, which is down 8.8 cents from a week ago.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that “[t]he national average is up 28.3 cents from a month ago and $1.79 per gallon higher than a year ago,” Gas Buddy reported.
In the ups and downs of prices, drivers might see the respite from rising prices continue, according to Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.
“With Independence Day a week away, gas prices have continued to fall for the second straight week as the price of oil has faltered, ushering in the drop we’re seeing. The good news is we could also see a third straight week of decline,” he said.
“While prices will be at their highest July 4th level ever, they’ll have fallen close to 20 cents since our peak in early June. Motorists should be wary that while the decline could continue for the week ahead, any sudden jolts to supply could quickly cause a turnaround, and risk remains that when the peak of hurricane season arrives, we could see a super spike at the pump,” he said.
Demand will determine if the recent dip is a blip, CIBC Senior Energy Trader Rebecca Babin said, according to Yahoo Finance.
“The way that decline potentially continues is if we see a drop off in demand,” she said.
“I would note that the prices at the pump have come off by maybe 2 percent to 3 percent whereas the prices of commodities have come off 10 percent to 15 percent,” she said, referring to the decline from peak high prices.
“Unfortunately, I don’t think we are going to see this gap lowering prices at the pump because demand has remained pretty resilient, and we have China starting to reopen,” she said.
Babin doubts oil companies can produce more gasoline.
“I just don’t think that we have the refining capacity to put enough product on the market to really cause a massive sell-off,” she said.
“Can we dip a little bit? Sure. Is it going to be enough to kind of get us back to $4.50 a gallon? I don’t think so.”