Average U.S. Gas Price Falls Below $2 a Gallon

Gasoline prices across the nation dropped to less than $2 a gallon for the first time since March 2005, according to a new survey from a leading industry analyst.

The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline at self-serve stations was $1.97 Friday, falling 33 cents over the last two weeks. Mid-grade was at $2.12 and premium was at $2.24.

That's according to the Lundberg Survey of 5,000 gas stations nationwide, released Sunday.

"It is the first time that the average price for regular gasoline has been below $2 a gallon since March 4, 2005," survey editor Trilby Lundberg told Reuters.

Lundberg said it is world demand and not OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries that drove prices of crude near $150 a barrel in July and it is demand that will call the bottom on crude prices.

"The rate of decline has slowed somewhat, but it is still dramatic at 33 cents in two weeks," she said.

However, Lundberg said that if crude prices end their descent, "then the end of this (gasoline) price crash is either here or near."

Venezuela's oil minister Rafael Ramirez urged his fellow OPEC members on Sunday to agree to lower crude oil output by 1 million barrels per day at a forthcoming emergency meeting in Cairo on November 29.

According to the survey, the average price for diesel was at $2.93, the first time it fell below $3 per gallon since September 2007.

Gas was cheapest in St. Louis, at $1.89 for a gallon of regular. It was most expensive in Honolulu, at $2.81.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.