California gasoline prices could fall as low as an average of $3.50 a gallon… (Justin Sullivan / Getty…)
The average retail price for a gallon of regular gasoline in California could fall to $3.50 a gallon in the next few weeks, analysts said, as the state's pump prices align with lower oil prices. Nationally, averages could bottom out around $3.25 a gallon.
Some parts of the country may see a slight bump in prices over the Fourth of July holiday, said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com, where users report the highest and lowest fuel prices they find at more than 140,0000 service stations.
"One thing is for sure," DeHaan said about the national average "the yellow brick road won't be leading us to cheaper pumps for much longer, something many Americans will undoubtedly tie to the upcoming holiday."
But California was a different story, said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS).
"California still has some catching up to do in terms of fuel price drops," Kloza said. "Gasoline prices there are still considerably too high and they should continue to drop."
Kloza made the prediction of a range of summer gasoline prices of $3.25 to $3.50, with California at the high end of that range.
The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in California is $3.749, down an additional 9.6 cents since last week, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report. The state's average has fallen by 49.5 cents a gallon in the past month. It's also 4.1 cents a gallon below the year ago price.
Nationally, the average for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.326, down an additional 8.5 cents since last week. The U.S. average has fallen 27.2 cents a gallon over the past month and is now 23.6 cents a gallon below the 2011 average.
In other energy news, U.S. oil prices were again on the decline, off an additional $2.68 a barrel to $82.28 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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