PEABODY — Cars were lined up at the Quick Stop Convenience Store’s gas pumps on Route 1 here Monday filling up at the place among the lowest prices on the North Shore.
Cash customers paid $2.38 a gallon, while credit card users shelled out $2.41.
“This is the cheapest price around,” said Susan St. John of Cambridge, who was driving a 2008 Honda CRV en route to see her daughter in Newburyport.
Not bad, considering the average price for regular was $2.62 per gallon last week in Massachusetts, according to AAA Northeast, and some stations are charging as much as $3.29. While the statewide average has fallen 3 cents in the past week, that’s still a nickel higher than the national average of $2.57 and 54 cents higher than the in-state price one year ago.
One month after Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, motorists are finally seeing declines in gas prices.
“Gas prices are getting cheaper by the day,” said AAA spokeswoman Jeanette Casselano, in a statement. “Pump prices may not be dropping as fast as motorists would like, but with the switchover to winter-blend gasoline, and consumer demand beginning to slow … consumers can expect gas prices to continue to be less expensive through October.”
AAA says as Gulf Coast refining and delivery systems get back to normal and demand drops in the fall, prices will likely continue to fall.
It pays to shop around.
A few miles away at the Mobil Station in Lynn, Edmond Doumgni, a nurse who lives in Lynn, was filling up at $2.79 per gallon.
“This is the highest price I’ve paid in a while and I just think it’s because of the storm,” Doumgni said as he filled his 2014 Toyota Corolla.
Sylvia Cercone of Lynn, who stopped at the Quick Stop Convenience Store on her way to see her husband at the North Shore Cancer Center in a 2010 Nissan Murano, said she can’t believe oil companies blamed hurricanes for the recent spike in prices.
“It’s just not true,” she said. “There’s plenty of gas and most of the stations are just taking advantage to keep their prices high. It’s ridiculous.”
Thomas Kloza, the global head of energy analysis at the Oil Price Information Service, acknowledged gas prices are quick to rise in the event of an interruption in oil, but slow to fall.
“We’ve come down quite a bit after the hurricanes in the last week or so,” he said. “But today we’re seeing the highest crude oil prices in a few years, at nearly $60 a barrel.
Still, Kloza said he is confident gas prices will continue to drop slowly despite high prices for crude. He expects prices to be in the $2.20 range within a few months.
At Mobil in Lynn, Joseph Driscoll, a landscaper, was filling up his 1995 Ford Ranger. He seemed unconcerned about the high price.
“I don’t pay attention to gas prices,” he said. “I need it and I just fill up and nothing will change it.”