Top: The Chisum Travel Center just north of city limits was one of several locations in Roswell Tuesday where regular gas could be purchased for $2.99 a gallon. Above left: On Saturday, gas was as low as $2.89 at the Allsup’s convenience store at North Main Street and Country Club Road. Above right: Gas at the Brewer convenience store on North Main Street across from Pioneer Bank was at the top end of gas prices in Roswell Tuesday at $3.39. (Timothy P. Howsare Photos)
By Jeff Tucker
and Dylanne Petros
Record Staff Writers
While regular-grade gasoline prices are averaging $3.45 a gallon statewide, Roswell motorists are seeing substantially lower fuel prices in what some service station employees said was an apparent gas war.
On Monday and Tuesday, several Roswell gas stations were selling gas at about 50 cents a gallon less than the state average.
Roswell was the only city in the state this week with stations selling gas for less than $3 a gallon, according to NewMexicoGasPrices.com.
Local regular-grade gas prices ranged from $2.93 a gallon to $3.49 on Monday and Tuesday.
Circle K at 3213 N. Main St. on Tuesday had the lowest priced regular-grade gasoline in Roswell at $2.93 a gallon.
Three fuel stations in Roswell: Chisum Travel Center at 5500 N. Main St.; Stripes at 3800 S. Main St.; and Alon at 520 E. Second St. were selling regular gas Tuesday at $2.99 a gallon.
Regular-grade gasoline was selling for 50 cents a gallon more at some nearby stations.
Four stations: Shamrock at 811 W. Second St.; Conoco at 2110 S. Main St.; Diamond Shamrock at 225 S. Main St.; Conoco at 1811 SE Main St.; and Conoco at 920 W. Second St. were all selling regular gas Tuesday at $3.39 a gallon, according to NewMexicoGasPrices.com.
Shell at 3000 N. Main St. had the highest local price for regular-grade gas at $3.49 a gallon on Monday, according to NewMexicoGasPrices.com.
On Tuesday, the Shell station dropped its regular gasoline prices to $3.39 a gallon.
Kayla Westmoreland, an assistant manager at the Shell station, said gas prices were higher at Shell because of the station’s higher quality fuel.
“I think for the most part, (the higher price is) because our quality of gas is a little bit higher,” Westmoreland said. “Our (gas) is a bit better than everyone else’s.”
Westmoreland said her store checks local gasoline prices daily and Shell’s corporate office makes adjustments.
“We do check gas prices every single day,” Westmoreland said.
Westmoreland said Shell receives gasoline from refineries in Artesia. Although refined locally, Westmoreland said she did not know why Shell’s gasoline prices have not come down to aid the apparent pricing war in Roswell.
Telephone calls placed Tuesday with the corporate headquarters of several local gas stations were not returned.
Employees at the Chisum Travel Center said they did not understand why gasoline prices were so much lower at Chisum Travel Center than other Roswell stations.
“Why we are cheap in Roswell, we have no idea,” a Chisum employee said, adding regular gasoline prices were $3.49 a gallon at the travel center two weeks ago.
Sarah Schimmer, a spokeswoman for AAA New Mexico, was also uncertain about the cause of lower fuel prices in Roswell.
Schimmer said the AAA only monitors gasoline prices in the metropolitan areas of Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe, but not in other cities in the state.
Schimmer said Tuesday gasoline prices in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe ranged from $3.40 a gallon to $3.45.
Schimmer said the state average is $3.45 a gallon.
“I don’t see that trend in the major metropolitan areas that we monitor,” Schimmer said. “I’m not seeing the trend replicated in the areas we monitor that you’re experiencing in Roswell right now.”
In Las Cruces, for example, regular-grade gas prices Monday and Tuesday ranged from $3.30 a gallon to $3.65, according to NewMexicoGasPrices.com.
In Artesia, regular gas prices this week ranged from $3.33 to $3.41 according to NewMexicoGasPrices.com.
In Hobbs, regular gas prices Monday and Tuesday were all at $3.39 a gallon at 20 different stations, according to NewMexicoGasPrices.com.
In Carlsbad, regular gas prices ranged this week from $3.33 to $3.39.
In Alamogordo, regular gas prices ranged Monday and Tuesday from $3.39 to $3.49.
In Clovis, regular gas prices ranged this week from $3.26 to $3.44.
In Farmington, the heart of oil development in northwestern New Mexico, regular gas prices ranged Monday and Tuesday from $3.37 to $3.63.