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Gas Prices Drop 2 Cents Nationwide

Crude oil prices remain low amid ample supply. But analysts say events could change that.

December 09, 2002|From Associated Press

The price of a gallon of gas fell by 2 cents nationwide over the last two weeks, an industry analyst said Sunday.

The average weighted price for gas nationwide, including all grades and taxes, was about $1.41 a gallon, according to the Lundberg Survey of 8,000 stations.

That's down 2 cents a gallon from Nov. 22, the date of the last survey, when the average cost for a gallon of gas stood at $1.43, said analyst Trilby Lundberg, who is based in Camarillo.

The price dropped because crude oil prices remained low and gasoline supplies remained ample, Lundberg said.

"Total world oil production was more than sufficient to meet oil demand, which reduced crude oil prices," Lundberg said. "Oil prices had hit the $30-per-barrel mark some weeks ago. However, recently they have been stable at under $27 per barrel."

The national average is down about 7.5 cents a gallon since Nov. 8, when the weighted average price was about $1.49 a gallon. It's the lowest price since March 22, when the price was $1.37 a gallon.

Lundberg said there are many uncertainties about future prices of oil and refined products, including possible war with Iraq, the economy, gasoline supply and demand, and the renewed political crisis in Venezuela.

Gas costs more than it did a year ago, when motorists were feeling the effects of a post-Sept. 11 price slump. On Nov. 16, 2001, the weighted average price for a gallon of gas was $1.23.

On Sunday, the national weighted average price of gasoline, including taxes, at self-serve pumps was about $1.38 a gallon for regular, $1.48 for mid-grade and $1.57 for premium.

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