South Puget Sound gasoline hovers around $3.09 a gallon

South Sound gasoline prices are stuck in neutral for now, new figures from reveal, but experts predict those prices will begin falling soon.

Average prices per gallon have been hovering around $3.09 a gallon for two weeks with no sign of significant movement upward or downward. But even that price is good news compared with last year’s pricing when gasoline was selling for about 84 cents more per gallon.

“Gasoline prices are poised to begin declining at a faster pace after staying relatively steady across much of the U.S. this past week,” according to Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst. “While oil prices saw a major jump last Friday, I do not believe it will interrupt expected relief that will soon show up at many pumps across the country.”

“Gas prices usually peak by May, but have been rising on the back of crude oil prices and increasing demand,” said Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for AAA. “The price of crude oil has found a new normal around $60 a barrel, and it’s likely that gas prices will decline in June.”

Gasoline prices this year hit a yearly low average of $2.16 a gallon in the South Sound during the first week of February. They climbed fairly steadily from then until Memorial Day when they stabilized.

Gasoline price leaders in the Tacoma area were Costco near the Tacoma Mall and Arco at 5433 S. Orchard St. Both were selling unleaded regular this week for $2.88 a gallon.

Thurston County gasoline was available for a penny less a gallon at an Arco station at 10222 Martin Way E. Gas was even cheaper in Federal Way where Costco was selling unleaded regular for $2.85 a gallon.

The nation’s highest average price early this week was in California where prices were averaging $3.69 a gallon. Lowest average prices were in South Carolina at $2.44 a gallon.