The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County dropped 2.4 cents to $5.946, recording its largest decrease since March 26, 2020.
According to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service, the average price has dropped 7.2 cents over the past four days, including 1.9 cents on both Thursday and Friday, following a 35-day streak of increases totaling $1.276.
The average price is 6.5 cents less than one week ago but $1.051 more than one month ago and $1.986 higher than one year ago.
"With the (Strategic Petroleum Reserve) release keeping oil (prices) down, we'll see most/all areas decline over the weekend and into next week,'' according to Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, which provides real-time gas price information from more than 150,000 stations.
West Coast gasoline traders attributed the drop to the arrival of imported gasoline and gasoline components, easing concerns about supply, According to Oil Price Information Service. The price decrease comes after President Joe Biden announced an order on Thursday to release up to one million barrels of oil per day from the nation's strategic petroleum reserve, according to two people familiar with the decision.
This decision attempts to control energy prices that have spiked as the U.S. and allies have imposed steep sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
Biden told Americans "there is no firm answer" as to when gas prices will go down, but predicted they will go down "fairly significantly,” estimating prices could drop between 10 and 35 cents a gallon.
A "use it or lose it" policy was proposed by Biden to incentivize companies to produce more oil in the short term with the resources they already have and encouraged Congress to make companies pay fees on unused wells on federal lands.
The Department of Energy will use revenues from the sale of Strategic Petroleum Reserve barrels to restock the reserve when prices are lower. As of Friday, there were more than 568 million barrels of oil in the reserve, according to the Department of Energy.
The U.S will provide over one million barrels per day will be provided in partnership with allies and partners around the world, making it the largest reserve release in U.S. history.