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Pump Prices Fall for 5th Week

The cost of self-serve regular drops 6.6 cents statewide, the largest weekly dip since April.

September 30, 2003|Elizabeth Douglass | Times Staff Writer

California gasoline prices fell for the fifth straight week, dropping 6.6 cents a gallon to a statewide average of $1.912 for self-serve regular, a federal agency said Monday.

The decline in pump prices for the week ended Monday is the largest seven-day dip since April 21, and brings the total decline to nearly 19 cents a gallon since late August, according to the federal Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Department of Energy.

Fuel prices continued to fall nationwide as well, with the average cost of self-serve regular declining 5.2 cents to $1.591 a gallon.

The lower prices provide some relief to frustrated motorists, but the decline has yet to offset the dramatic price increases that hit consumers in August. The current cost of gasoline in California remains nearly 21 cents a gallon above the early August average of $1.703 per gallon. The nationwide average is 5.5 cents higher than it was at that time.

Some industry experts believe lower demand and more stable supplies should continue to push pump prices lower, others have begun to worry that expected cuts in worldwide oil production could push up the cost of crude oil and ultimately stem the slide in gasoline prices.

Crude oil prices for November delivery closed up 24 cents Monday to $28.40 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Last week, members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to lower production quotas by 3.5%.

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