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    Fuel Prices Aided by Supply Increase

    Consumers are paying 16 cents a gallon less than they were a year ago.

    Gasoline prices dropped nearly 13 cents in the past three weeks as supplies rose, analyst Trilby Lundberg said.

    The average price of gasoline, including all grades and taxes, was $1.51 Friday - down 12.8 cents since June 22, according to the Lundberg Survey of about 8,000 gas stations nationwide. As a result of the price drops, consumers are paying 16 cents a gallon less than they were a year ago.

    "After having been warned by jittery officials and consultants of a shortage and $3 gasoline this summer - which never materialized - we see bargain prices," Lundberg said.

    Since peaking on May 18 at $1.76, prices have tumbled 25.74 cents. Crude oil prices went up during the same three-week period, but not enough to counter the price drop brought on by an increase in production for summer driving.

    "If crude oil prices don't rise, gasoline prices are likely to fall further, although at a slower pace," Lundberg said.

    Honolulu and Tulsa, Okla., had the highest and lowest gas prices in the nation with $1.91 and $1.16 respectively.

    The national average price of gasoline, including taxes at self-serve pumps last week was $1.46 for regular unleaded, $1.57 for midgrade and $1.66 for premium. Full-service pump prices averaged at $1.88 for regular unleaded, $1.97 for midgrade and $2.05 for premium.

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