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Survey: Gas prices post first drop since January

Story Highlights

• Average price of gas has dropped more than 7 cents in recent weeks, survey finds
• Drop doesn't offset $1.00 rise in the price that occurred between January and May
• Most of drop comes from lower prices for gas produced in refineries outside U.S.
• No new refineries have been built in the country since 1976
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(CNN) -- Gas prices are down for the first time since January, according to a national survey released Sunday.

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline has dropped more than 7 cents in the past three weeks, to $3.11, the survey found.

Drivers in Jackson, Mississippi, are getting the best deal at $2.87 per gallon. Chicago drivers are paying the most -- $3.61.

The Lundberg Survey of about 5,000 gas stations was carried out June 8 and May 18.

When the average price of gasoline hit $3.18 in May, it was the highest price ever recorded, even when adjusted for inflation, according to a previous Lundberg survey.

The 7.37-cent drop comes nowhere near offsetting the $1.00 rise in the price of gas that occurred between January 19 and May 18, said survey publisher Trilby Lundberg.

"It's unlikely we can see the other 93 cents any time soon," she told CNN in a telephone interview.

Most of that 7-cents-relief came from lower prices charged for gas produced in refineries outside the United States, she said.

"Some of our domestic refining capacity is still just limping along, after at least four months of extraordinary down time," she said, citing seasonal maintenance and more than 30 other events "that were beyond ordinary seasonal tune-ups," including fires and explosions.

The nation's refineries are operating at 89.6 percent capacity, down about 6 points from normal, she said.

Though some U.S. refineries have been expanded in recent years, no new refineries have been built in the country since 1976.

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The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.11, according to the Lundberg Survey.


Chicago, Illinois: $3.61
Los Angeles, California: $3.25
Portland, Oregon: $3.18
Las Vegas, Nevada: $3.15
Indianapolis, Indiana: $3.14
Boston, Massachusetts: $3.04
Atlanta, Georgia: $3.02
Dallas, Texas: $2.97
Jackson, Mississippi: $2.87


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