PORTLAND, Ore. — After enduring a summer of exceptionally high bills at the gas pump, Portlanders will probably be relieved to hear that as of Tuesday, the average price of a gallon of gas in the city has dropped below $5 — at least according to one major tracking agency.
AAA’s gas prices database lists the average for the Portland metro area (excluding Vancouver) as $4.98 per gallon of regular unleaded gas as of Tuesday, down from $5.015 the day before.
The tracking website GasBuddy offers a slightly higher and more granular estimate, listing the overall Portland average at $5.02 per gallon and dividing the city into different price ranges by location.
Some of the central areas are still in a greater-than-$5.11 range, according to GasBuddy’s map, while other neighborhoods and suburban cities are in the range of $4.85 to $5.11 and some of the outskirts range from $4.58 to $4.85.
But while the exact estimates vary, both tracking services show that average prices in Portland have been dropping steadily for more than a month — a trend that also applies statewide and nationwide.
Oregon’s average price was $4.91 per gallon as of Tuesday, according to AAA, down from a record high of $5.55 on June 15. The national average was $4.03, down from a record high of $5.02 on June 14. GasBuddy’s database shows very similar figures and dates.
In a Monday news release, AAA attributed the improved prices to declines in the cost of oil amid global economic uncertainty. Demand for gas is also down, the agency reported, with a majority of respondents in a recent survey stating that they had reduced their driving in the past four months to save at the pump.
The summer’s wave of high prices kicked off with a big and fast spike in early March, according to GasBuddy’s historical charts, which the company attributed in a recent blog post to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Prices never fell much from that high point, but they did hold fairly steady in late March and April before entering a slower but sustained increase from early May to mid-June.
That second big wave was mainly caused by rising crude oil prices, AAA director of government and public affairs Marie Dodds told KGW last month — and when crude prices began to decline after June 8, gas prices soon followed suit.
Despite showing the same downward trend, Oregon’s prices remain stubbornly high compared with many other states. The nationwide average fell below $5 more than a month ago, and is hitting $4 just as Oregon gets down to $5.
That disparity is normal, Dodds told KGW last month — western states tend to have among the highest prices because they’re far away from oil production hubs on the Gulf Coast and there aren’t as many pipelines in the western half of the country, so gas has to be shipped by more expensive means.