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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's motorists are finally getting some relief at the fuel pump.
The state's average price is down 6 cents from last month, primarily due to global oversupply of crude oil, Utah AAA reported.
But Utah motorists are still paying much more than most of the country.
The current statewide price for regular gasoline registered at $2.97 per gallon, 74 cents less than the same time last year. All of the Utah cities surveyed by AAA reported lower average prices with the greatest drop — 9 cents — occurring in Provo, while St. George was the only Utah city to post an average price above the $3 mark.
Utah's average price is sixth highest in the lower 48 states, the report shows. Only California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington have higher average prices than Utah.
Nationally, the average price of gas registered at $2.78 a gallon, 83 cents lower than a year ago. California's average price of $3.80 per gallon rated as the highest price across all 50 states, while the lowest average price was found in South Carolina at $2.41 per gallon.
"The current drop in prices at the pump is certainly giving drivers a reprieve during the typical high demand and resulting higher prices of the summer driving season," said AAA Utah spokeswoman Rolayne Fairclough. "While the global oversupply and recent international events will apply continued downward pressure on prices, anticipated increased demand due to upcoming holidays and possible movement of local fuel to supply shortages in the region may move the price higher."
Globally, current international events are influencing the price of oil by pushing the cost to multi-month lows over the past week, she said. The very recent nuclear arms deal reached with Iran includes the lifting of sanctions which would bring Iranian crude oil to an already oversupplied global market, she noted.
Also, the impact of the Greek debt crisis fueled concerns regarding the impact on other Eurozone economies, Fairclough said. While the reported agreement could alleviate these fears, political considerations in Greece remain a worry for market watchers, she said.