The average price nationwide for all grades of gasoline fell 3 cents in two weeks, continuing a drop in pump prices that began last month, an industry analyst said Sunday.
The average retail price for all three grades dropped 3.05 cents to $2.24 per gallon between April 22 and Friday, said Trilby Lundberg (search), who publishes the semimonthly Lundberg Survey (search) of 7,000 gas stations around the country.
The most popular grade, self-serve regular, was priced at $2.21 a gallon, while customers paid $2.31 for midgrade. Premium averaged $2.41 a gallon for the period.
The drop comes after an average 4.5-cent drop in overall gas prices during the last survey, taken between April 8 and April 22. Average gasoline prices soared 49 cents per gallon between Jan. 1 and April 8, when prices began a downward trend, Lundberg said.
She said the recent relief at the pump was due to several factors, including an increased supply of both crude oil and gasoline and the completion of some maintenance projects that had reduced capacity at the nation's refineries. She said those factors had offset a spike in consumption that usually occurs in spring and summer.
"If crude oil supplies and gasoline supplies continue on the up-and-up, then pump prices are likely to continue down at least for the short term," Lundberg said. "Crude oil is still hovering around $50 a barrel and that's still a super incentive for producers to maximize their output."
The highest average gas price in the nation for regular unleaded among the stations surveyed was $2.60 a gallon in San Francisco. The lowest price was $1.95 in Minneapolis.
The lowest average price among stations surveyed in California for regular unleaded was found in Sacramento, where motorists pay $2.49 a gallon. The survey includes the California cities of Sacramento, Stockton, greater Los Angeles, San Diego, Bakersfield, Fresno and San Francisco.