Atlanta gas prices have dropped, but don’t get too used to it

Yes, the traffic was horrible. You burned a lot of gas, just sitting and listening to your spouse complain about your family. But at least the gas you were burning wasn’t five bucks a gallon — you got through the Thanksgiving holiday with the third lowest gas prices since 2008.

You probably won’t be so lucky at Christmas.

A wind is coming from afar that soon will be pushing pump prices in a different direction.

Many things affect gas prices. But, more than anything else, they are shaped by the global price of oil. And when oil gets more expensive, it is only a matter of time before you pay the price at the pump.

“Once oil starts to rise, especially to multi-year highs, it’s as clear a sign that gas prices will head higher eventually and that the party may be winding down,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

The price of West Texas Intermediate – the benchmark, American-pumped crude – closed last week at $56.21 a barrel, according to the Energy Information Administration. That is up 14 percent since early October.

And unless it is reversed, that increase will trickle through to gas prices, DeHaan said. “While 2018 won’t set new record highs at the pump, it’s likely to bring more pain than 2017 has so far.”

Gas and oil prices have been lower for the past three years than in the five years before, according to the EIA. Toward the end of 2014, oil prices fell below $61 a barrel and have not been higher since.

Oil prices peaked in the summer of 2008 at more than $140 a barrel. Gasoline prices followed suit, cresting at $4.11 a gallon for regular in metro Atlanta – a price that collapsed after the plunge in oil prices.

Gasoline now average $2.38 a gallon in metro Atlanta, down from $2.41 a week ago, according to GasBuddy.

The highest price in the metro area Monday was $2.99 a gallon, reported at several stations by In contrast, two stations – one in Lawrenceville, one in Duluth – had the lowest prices, both reported at $1.99 a gallon.

They may slide down a little more: Changes in oil prices do not flow through the system immediately, DeHaan said. “For this week, prices may drift lower before a risk of a rise.”


AJC Business reporter Michael E. Kanell keeps you updated on the latest news about jobs, housing and consumer issues in metro Atlanta and beyond. You'll find more on, including these stories:

Never miss a minute of what's happening in local business news. Subscribe to 

In other Business news:

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Business

Amazing $20 camera you can use to protect your home, office and family
Amazing $20 camera you can use to protect your home, office and family

I don’t review products, but The Watchdog makes an exception here because I found something exceptional and fun. The Wyze camera is a $20 camera for indoor use that I’ve tested for a month. If you’ve longed for an indoor home surveillance system but didn’t want to spend a lot of money or deal with wires or data storage machines...
CNET: Smart thermostats to make your home the right temperature
CNET: Smart thermostats to make your home the right temperature

Thinking about swapping out your old thermostat for a state-of-the-art smart one? Take a look at these four smart thermostats that are among the best CNET has reviewed so far to see if you might be ready for an upgrade. ——— Ecobee4 Product Review: CNET...
‘Shadow of the Colossus’ has resolutions to dig into details
‘Shadow of the Colossus’ has resolutions to dig into details

Video game remakes are a tricky business. Developers can color within the lines and create a title that hews close to the original. Afraid of ruining the magic of the code, they create an old game with fresh paint on it. That works but the results are boring and sterile. It’s important for developers to put a little of themselves in the work...
Snapchat’s update has left users angry, wanting to change it back
Snapchat’s update has left users angry, wanting to change it back

The fake tweet was crafted, and purported to show a conversation between Snapchat and a user who was frustrated by the updated version of the app. Snapchat sympathized with Twitter user Isaac Svobodny, who asked how many retweets it would take for the company to change back to the old format. Snapchat’s imaginary response: 50,000. As of that...
D.A.D. to the rescue
D.A.D. to the rescue

You can’t plan when you or someone you’re with might be attacked, which is why you might want the D.A.D. defense alert device from Tigerlight within reach. The device easily fits in a purse, computer bag or the palm of your hand while taking a nighttime run or any other situation you feel it’s needed. With the press of a button, you...
More Stories