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Party at the pump by By Kevin Robinson-Avila / Journal Staff Write

Party at the pump by By Kevin Robinson-Avila / Journal Staff Writer

Copyright © 2015 Albuquerque Journal
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Copyright © 2015 Albuquerque Journal
The good times are likely to continue well into 2015 for consumers at the gas pumps, with some experts now forecasting New Mexico’s average price per gallon of unleaded to slide to $1.55 by March, before it starts to rebound in the spring.
Consumers can generally thank Saudi Arabia for the latest predictions, said Daniel Fine, associate director of the New Mexico Institute for Mining and Technology’s Center for Energy Policy. That country has pushed the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries into a price war with U.S. producers to undercut U.S. oil production and protect Saudi market share, which has declined sharply as a result of America’s shale-gas boom.

OPEC refuses to cut back production in its member countries to ease the current glut on the world market, which, in turn, has sent crude prices plummeting since last summer. And, with Saudi Arabia still leading the charge, OPEC is unlikely to back off from its price war any time soon, meaning consumers can expect pump prices to continue their spiral downward, at least until early spring.
“The price at New Mexico’s pumps depends on Saudi Arabia, OPEC and the global market,” said Fine, who was recently appointed project leader for state energy policy. “I forecast very low prices at the pumps until at least April before OPEC takes another look at its production policies.”

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