A national survey of gas prices reports that Americans are paying 12 cents on average less than they were three weeks ago, but on average, Californians are still paying more than residents of any of the other lower 48 states.
In the lower 48 states, San Francisco averaged the highest average price at $3.66 per gallon, while Tulsa, Oklahoma, had the lowest average at $2.93.
Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said Sunday that the national average for regular grade gas is $3.26 per gallon, while midgrade averages $3.48 and premium $3.64. Retail diesel averages $3.74.
Statewide, the average price of a gallon of gas stood at about $3.60 on Monday, according to GasBuddy.com, a Web site that finds the lowest gas prices in the United States and Canada. Alaska and Hawaii were the only U.S. states paying more.
Lundberg said the price has decreased for 16 weeks, crediting lower crude oil prices.
She forecast further cuts of a dime or more, thanks to decreases in the price of crude oil and ethanol.
Gas prices in some parts of the country have dipped below $3 a gallon. California motorists seeking a bargain are advised to head toward the Tulare County town of Porterville, where GasBuddy.com reports two stations are serving up fuel at $3.08 and $3.09 a gallon.
Closer to the Bay Area, a number of stations in the Sacramento area were selling gas for $3.17 a gallon, about a dime cheaper than the lowest reported gas price in San Jose, where a number of stations were selling gas for less than $3.30 a gallon.
Some analysts predict prices could plummet another 30 percent by Christmas.
“If we don’t have any major storms throughout the winter, and barring any unforeseen geopolitical situations, we should see gas prices continue to descend,” AAA spokesperson Cynthia Harris said.
AAA attributes the drop in gas prices to a few things: less drivers on the road, a major increase in U.S. production of crude oil, and refineries switching over to the less expensive winter blend of gasoline.