Although the nation’s regular gasoline price average has fallen for 27 of the past 31 days, Oklahoma’s statewide average has languished in the $2.08 to $2.16 range for three weeks, AAA Oklahoma reports.

“Since mid-summer, there have been ten or more states with lower gasoline price averages than Oklahoma,” said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. “Today, there are ten including some surprises such as Virginia at $2.03 per gallon. Historically, Oklahoma’s price average has been among the nation’s cheapest.”

According to FuelGaugeReport.AAA.com, the nationwide pump price average today is $2.29 per gallon, a penny more than it was a week ago, three cents below the price two weeks ago, 20 cents lower than the price one month ago and $1.05 less than the price average one year ago.

“As the fall refinery maintenance season continues to ramp-up in response to the very busy summer, gasoline price declines could slow and temporarily change direction,” said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. “We’ve seen some startling price spikes in Oklahoma, particularly Tulsa, but the market’s current oversupply is expected to keep prices relatively low.”

Motorists in four states are paying averages below $2 per gallon today with South Carolina ($1.96) leading the way followed by Mississippi and New Jersey (both at $1.97) and Alabama ($1.98). Alaska ($3.02) has the nation’s most expensive fuel followed by California ($2.98), Nevada ($2.93), Hawaii ($2.88) and Utah ($2.69).

“There are a lot of questions right now about where global oil demand is headed,” said Mai. “For example, many analysts are saying we could see less consumption in China as the carbon emissions cap-and-trade program they just announced is implemented. Others maintain that country’s economy is merely taking a breather before resuming aggressive expansion.”

West Texas Intermediate crude oil closed out yesterday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX down $1.27, settling at $44.43 per barrel. The last time WTI closed above $50 was on July 21.