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California

Pump Prices in State Drop for a Third Week

June 22, 2004|James F. Peltz | Times Staff Writer

The average price of gasoline in California fell for the third straight week since setting a record high in late May, a government survey found Monday. The nationwide average also slipped again.

In California, the average cost of self-serve regular gasoline dropped 3 cents a gallon over the previous seven days to $2.259 a gallon, according to a weekly sampling by the U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration.

The state's average price has fallen 6.8 cents since it reached a record $2.327 in the week ended Memorial Day. But it remains 45.4 cents higher than the average a year ago because of tight supplies, surging fuel demand and fears of disrupted Middle East oil shipments because of terrorism.

The nationwide average, which dropped below $2 a gallon last week, slipped an additional 4.8 cents in the latest period to $1.937 a gallon, the agency said.

Prices have drifted lower in tandem with a recent pullback in crude oil prices to less than $40 a barrel.

On Monday, crude oil for July delivery fell an additional $1.12 to $37.63 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Prices came under pressure as Iraq resumed partial exports through one of two pipelines shut down after an attack by insurgents last week. Oil's price has dropped 11% from a record close of $42.33 a barrel reached June 1.

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