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    Gas Prices Could Drop 20 Cents a Gallon by Year's End

    Lack of major hurricane, switch to winter-blend gasoline cited by AAA as reasons.

    NATIONAL REPORT -- Americans are paying the cheapest fuel prices of the year and can expect to see even cheaper gas prices by the end of the year, according to AAA's Monthly Gas Price Report.

    “Expect a nice holiday bonus in the form of much cheaper gas prices,” said AAA spokesperson Avery Ash. “The national average should get tantalizingly close to $3 per gallon, and many consumers will find bargains below that price before the year is over.”

    More specifically, as many as 10 states or more could see local averages drop below $3 per gallon before the end of the year, AAA stated.

    The average price of gas in October was $3.34 per regular gallon, a 17-cent decline from September and the cheapest average monthly price since 2010. By comparison, the average in October 2012 was $3.71 per gallon and in October 2011, it was $3.51 per gallon.

    As of Oct. 31, when the AAA monthly report was published, the national average was 24 cents per gallon cheaper than one year ago and drivers paid less than last year to fill up for 87 consecutive days. Today's current average is $3.25 per regular gallon, and the state enjoying the cheapest gas is Missouri with an average of $2.91 per regular gallon, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

    The national average price of gas began the year at $3.29 per gallon on Jan. 1 and peaked at $3.79 per gallon on Feb. 27 -- the earliest peak price on record, according to AAA. Drivers across the country are now also using less expensive winter-blend gasoline. This blend can cost as much as 10 cents to 15 cents per gallon less to produce than equivalent summer fuel, and is not required to meet stricter air regulations.

    The lack of a major hurricane this year has also helped refineries maintain production, AAA noted.

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