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    Fuel Price Drop

    Gas down more than a nickel, according to survey.

    CAMARILLO, Calif. -- The price of a gallon of gas fell more than a nickel nationwide over the past two weeks as crude oil prices stayed low and supply outpaced demand, said fuel analyst Trilby Lundberg. It was the largest two-week drop in about a year.

    The average price for gas averaged $1.44 a gallon on Friday, according to the Lundberg survey of 8,000 gas stations and convenience stores nationwide.

    That was down 5.56 cents a gallon from Nov. 8, the date of the last Lundberg survey, when the average cost for a gallon of gas stood at $1.49.

    "The two main reasons for the lower retail gasoline prices are lower oil prices and flush gasoline supplies," Lundberg said. "Crude oil prices of late were not falling, however over recent weeks they have fallen appreciably, and these price cuts have been working their way down to the gasoline pump."

    Lundberg also cited the lower seasonal demand for gas that's typical of the winter months. She said the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday probably won't affect gas prices. Drivers are likely to see continued price reductions in the weeks to come -- barring any unexpected events affecting crude oil prices, Lundberg said.

    "Prices were extraordinarily steady from early April forward, showing almost no change. Moderate rises between late September and October have now been more than offset by this drop of more than five cents," Lundberg said.

    Still, gas costs more than it did a year ago, when motorists were still feeling the effect of a post-Sept. 11 price slump. On Nov. 16, 2001, the weighted average price for a gallon of gas was $1.23.

    The national average price of gasoline was about $1.41 per gallon for regular, $1.50 for mid-grade and $1.59 for premium.

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