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Nassau gasoline prices second-lowest in state

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Gasoline prices continued to plunge last week as oil supplies far outstripped demand, leaving Nassau County with the second-cheapest gas in the state, behind the city of Elmira, where gasoline averaged $2.14.  

In Nassau, the average price for the week just ended was $2.30 per gallon of 87-octane gasoline, according to Long Island AAA media spokesman and petroleum expert Robert Sinclair. Even at that level, he thought local retailers were keeping prices artificially high in the face of what he believes will be an inevitable downturn. 

The national average was $2.08 per gallon.

“The usual formula for the price at the pump is the wholesale price, plus 80 cents,” Sinclair said. The current wholesale rate is 47 cents per gallon for 87 octane gasoline. 

“We should be seeing prices of $1.27 per gallon,” Sinclair said, adding that he believes it is only a matter of time before prices fall nearer to that mark. 

According to Sinclair, benchmark oil prices are hovering around $24.00 per barrel — the lowest price in more than 20 years; and stocks are also high. To offset some of the glut, President Donald Trump announced last week that the government would buy excess inventory to beef up the country’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve. 

The good news for Long Islanders, in a season singularly bereft of that commodity, is that prices should continue to fall, even as the retail industry converts to the summer grades that are traditionally more expensive.