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Gas prices drop further as crude oil gets cheaper

By Alan Duke, CNN
updated 3:18 PM EST, Sun December 18, 2011
The price of gas fell 24 cents during the past six weeks but remains 33 cents higher than it was a year ago.
The price of gas fell 24 cents during the past six weeks but remains 33 cents higher than it was a year ago.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Gas prices fall 24 cents in six weeks, the Lundberg Survey says
  • San Francisco has the most expensive, while Albuquerque has the cheapest
  • Crude oil's $7-a-barrel drop helps gasoline prices fall
  • Europe's debt crisis could decide if prices fall more, Trilby Lundberg says

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Gas prices in the United States fell more than 5 cents over the past two weeks as crude oil prices dropped, continuing a decline in pump prices that started in late October, according to a survey published Sunday.

The average price of regular gasoline is $3.24 a gallon, the Lundberg Survey found.

That's down 5.25 cents from two weeks earlier, and down a total of 24 cents in the past six weeks, said publisher Trilby Lundberg.

"In these two weeks, the decline comes from a serious drop in the crude oil price of more than $7 per barrel," Lundberg said.

The "continued demand destruction from our under-employment level" is also pushing gasoline prices downward, she said. "That underlies whatever else is going on."

The end of gas price drops in the United States could be near, but the key in the coming months lies in Europe, she said.

"The retail gas price direction will depend mostly on what crude oil prices do and they are up in the air due to Europe's debt crisis, and what Europe may do to address that," she said.

The oil futures market does not currently see much change in the coming months for crude, she said.

The price decline in November came because refiners and retailers "were unable to pass through the higher oil prices because American motorists' demand for gasoline continues to shrink due to hard economic conditions."

The latest average gas price is 33 cents higher than it was a year ago.

The Lundberg Survey tallies prices at thousands of gas stations nationwide.

The city with the lowest average price in the latest survey was Albuquerque, New Mexico, at $2.83. The highest average was in San Francisco, at $3.57.

Here are average prices in some other cities:

- Tulsa, Oklahoma - $3.01

-Denver, Colorado - $3.08

-St. Louis, Missouri - $3.14

-Atlanta, Georgia - $3.22

-Miami, Florida - $3.28

-Boston, Massachusetts - $3.34

-Seattle, Washington - $3.46

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