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Gas prices fall nearly 14 cents in 2 weeks

Story Highlights

• Survey includes about 5,000 gas stations across the nation
• Drop nearly cancels out increase from November 3, 2006 to January 5, 2007
• The average self-serve regular price fell below $2 in six large cities
• Sunday's price is is nearly 15 cents below what it was a year ago
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CAMARILLO, California (CNN) -- Gas prices fell nearly 14 cents over the last two weeks to a national average of $2.18 per gallon of self-serve regular, a survey said Sunday.

Prices dropped exactly 13.62 cents between January 5 and January 19, said Trilby Lundberg, publisher of the "Lundberg Survey." The survey included about 5,000 gas stations across the nation.

A $4.32 drop in the price per barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude was responsible for nearly all of the decrease, she said.

The U.S. benchmark closed Friday at $51.99 per barrel, equivalent to a 10.3-cent-per-gallon drop, she said.

The drop nearly cancels out the 13.88-cent increase in the cost per gallon of gasoline that occurred between November 3, 2006 and January 5, 2007, said Lundberg.

She cited soft demand for home heating oil due to mild winter weather and the failure of OPEC to comply with its November pledge to slash production, for the price drop.

But she predicted any further price reductions would be smaller, if they occur at all, in coming weeks. "It's unlikely we will see price drops of this magnitude in the near future," she said. "I'm not sure it's bottomed out, but the bulk of the price drop has already occurred."

The average self-serve regular price fell below $2 in six large cities: Tulsa, Oklahoma; St. Louis, Missouri; Wichita, Kansas; Louisville, Kentucky; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Jackson, Mississippi; and Detroit, Michigan -- which had the nation's lowest prices at $1.86 per gallon.

Honolulu, Hawaii, drivers paid the most, at $2.81 per gallon. Prices elsewhere:

-- San Francisco, California: $2.62

-- Long Island, New York: $2.44

-- Boise, Idaho: $2.26

-- Chicago, Illinois: $2.25

-- Boston, Massachusetts: $2.25

-- Houston, Texas: $2.07

-- Atlanta, Georgia: $2.03

The last time prices fell so much during a two-week period occurred between September 22, 2006 and October 6, 2006 when prices tumbled 14.5 cents.

Sunday's price is nearly 15 cents below what it was a year ago.



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