Drivers keeping eye on fuel prices

By Andy Jackson: CNJ staff writer

Deanna Fe Briseno said she doesn’t mind waiting 25 minutes in line to buy gas if it saves her money.

The Clovis woman stopped Saturday to buy gas at the Allsup’s on Prince Street, where the cost for regular-unleaded gasoline as much as 17¢ a gallon cheaper than other gas stations in the area.

“They had the cheapest prices,” Briseno said as she pumped her tank full at $1.97 a gallon.

An employee at Allsup’s referred inquires about gas prices to the corporate office.

Joel Tinkle said he waited 25 minutes to pump gas at Allsup’s and saved a little money.

“If I was busy, I probably wouldn’t have waited,” Tinkle said. “I would have gone across the street.”

Across the intersection, a station advertised regular unleaded at $2.09.

One half block north in the Wal-Mart parking lot, Mirastar was selling gas at $1.99 a gallon.

The clerk at the Mirastar station said cars were lined up for gas earlier Saturday.

“We ran out of change, so I had to call my manager,” she said.

Bob Fechter said he normally buys his gas at Mirastar. Unlike Briseno and Tinkle, Fechter said he didn’t compare prices before pulling up to the pump.

“I think people are making a to-do about nothing,” he said, “when stuff runs short, prices go up,” Fechter said.

In the past four weeks, the national average price for self-serve unleaded gasoline in New Mexico dropped 34 cents to $2.608, according to AAA of New Mexico.

“Warmer than expected weather has delayed the winter demand for heating oil, which has caused barrel prices to drop below $60 per barrel, and gasoline prices are falling due to rising inventories and reduced demand,” said Brenda Yager, AAA New Mexico’s public affairs manager.