Gas for less than $3 a gallon, at a station near you?
Gasoline prices are the lowest they've been all year, and in some parts of the country they could fall even further before 2014.
This post comes from Sharon Epperson at partner site CNBC.
Prices at the pump are already at the lowest level of the year, with the national average price for gasoline at $3.24 a gallon. But drivers in about 70 percent of the U.S. are feeling even more relief, as local stations post prices below the $3 mark.
About 35 states have stations with gasoline below $3 a gallon, representing about 15 percent of stations across the nation, according to AAA.
In five states -- Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas and Kansas -- Gasbuddy.com finds the average regular gas price for the state has already dropped below $3 a gallon.
AAA predicts 10 states -- mostly in the South Central and Gulf region -- will see the statewide average for pump prices below $3 a gallon by the end of the year. AAA said the national average price of gasoline will likely fall to $3.10 a gallon by year's end, but won't dip below the $3 mark as crude oil prices remain relatively expensive.
"There's a chance gasoline will dip below $3 [for the national average] but it will take a considerable rebound in the U.S. dollar or financial collapse to bring the national average below that," said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for Gasbuddy.com. "That said, for people who really shop around for gas, in most states they'll be able to find it for less than $3."
Gasoline prices have declined as U.S. crude oil prices have plummeted from $110 a barrel at the end of August on concerns about a possible U.S. strike against Syria to below $95 a gallon, the lowest price since June, as domestic crude supplies have risen sharply in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, the end of the summer driving season has resulted in an abundant supply of gasoline, with inventories up 7 percent from a year ago, and demand has declined. "There's little demand in the fourth quarter and plenty of supply out there. Fundamentals have finally taken center stage," said trader Anthony Grizanti of GRZ Energy and a CNBC contributor.
A seasonal shift in gasoline processing has helped to lower prices at the pump too. "It costs about 10-15 cents less to make the winter-blend of gasoline than the summer blend," said AAA spokesperson Michael Green.
As a result of all of these factors, gasoline prices haven't been this cheap since 2010, having fallen 34 cents since Labor Day and 22 cents from a year ago. Even in the high-priced New York metropolitan area, pump prices fallen dramatically after topping the $4 mark a year ago, when Hurricane Sandy damaged local refineries.
Local gas prices are about 40-50 cents cheaper in New Jersey, Long Island and New York City than the first weeks of November last year. The state-wide average in New Jersey is $3.14 a gallon and in New York City prices are about $3.63 a gallon on average, according to AAA.
While the national average may not fall below $3 a gallon, many analysts say prices should remain under pressure through the New Year.
"Prices probably won't start to rise again until Valentine's Day as we anticipate the spring and summer driving season of 2014. But for now, this market is very well supplied," Grisanti said. Drivers have been paying less than they did a year for gasoline for the last three months and that trend is likely to continue.
More from CNBC:
In fairlee vt. where at $3.69 a gallon. new Hampshire in over $3.49 so who controls the gas price for the states?
From a registered Democrat. None of the idiots in Washington want to control the price of gas. First, it brings in millions and billions of dollars in additional taxes to the state and federal governments. Although it is screwing anyone driving a car, or truck, the ones it hurt most is the people on Social Security, low income and small business. This can be controlled and if not, that and Obama Care will make this country have another Hitler in 5 years, if we do not have one now. WAKE UP AMERICA.
From a Registered Democrat. You are paying 3 times in taxes to the state and federal governments because of the high price of gasoline and none of the idiots in Washington is doing anything about it. Why should they, they are making a lot of money and do not have to worry about gas, you pay their expenses. It is time we had term limits, do not allow a person over 6 years in any government service.
From a registered Democrat. TAXES HAS BEEN FORCED ON YOU. Don't you people realize what is going on? Gas was $1.54 in 08 and then my party took control of the House and Senate, and boy did the price go out of site, to over $4.00 in some states. This took in Billions of dollars in tax money for states and the federal government. YOU paid nearly 3 time the taxes you were paying. Who did this hurt, the low income, the set income and small business. This alone killed the economy. Now Obama care and you haven't seen anything yet. This party is trying to tear this county up, buying up HOMES with your tax dollar, We will soon have another Hitler if it is not stopped.
YEAH THAT'S GOOD NEWS IN THIS OBAMA CLIMATE CHANGE EPA NAZI REGULATIONS
ANTI CHEAP ENERGY ECONOMY! BUT WHEN GAS WAS 2 BUCKS A GALLON AFTER KATRINA
THE LEFT WING MEDIA AND DEMOS WENT CRAZY! FUNNY HOW WHEN IT WAS BUSH 2 BUCKS WAS TOO HIGH THOSE DAMN GREEDY OIL COMPANIES BUT WHEN IT'S OBAMA?
CAN'T WAIT TO HEAR ALL YOU DEMOS IN STATES WHERE ENERGY IS ALREADY TOO HIGH
AND TOO SHORT SUPPLY CAUSE OF YOUR DEMONCRAT CLIMATE CHANGE NUTJOBS
AGENDA THAT IS GONNA MAKE ENERGY MORE EXPENSIVE AND SHORT SUPPLY DURING
THOSE COLD WINTER MONTHS! YOU GET WHAT YOU VOTED FOR MORONS! BRRRR!!!!
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