Gas prices on the West Coast and nationwide are drifting lower this week as many regional supply and distribution issues have been resolved. The national average for regular unleaded loses two-and-a-half cents this week to $3.61 a gallon, while the Oregon average falls three cents to $3.81.
Oregon is one of 24 states and the District of Columbia where gas prices are less expensive than a week ago, including some double-digit declines in four Great Lakes states. Prices have gone up in 26 states, but none of the increases has been more than six cents a gallon.
At the same time regional gasoline production and distribution concerns have eased and retail prices have inched lower, market-watchers have turned a wary eye to escalating geopolitical tensions in Syria. While Syria is not a major oil producing nation, there is the risk that fighting might spread to other countries in the region, and this has kept some upward pressure on crude oil prices.