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    Gas Prices Down

    Two-cent drop at the pumps nationwide adds up to 20-cent decline since March 21.

    CAMARILLO, Calif. -- Gas prices dropped more than two cents per gallon over the past two weeks as crude oil prices continued to fall in the wake of the Iraq war, analyst Trilby Lundberg reported. The average price for gas nationwide, including all grades and taxes, fell 2.28 cents to about $1.56 per gallon on Friday, according to the Lundberg Survey of 8,000 convenience stores and gas stations. On May 2, the date of the last Lundberg Survey, gas cost about $1.58 a gallon.

    It was the fourth straight two-week drop, adding up to a decline of more than 20 cents per gallon since prices peaked March 21 at an average of $1.76 per gallon, Lundberg said. Last year, on May 17, 2002, the weighted average for all three grades combined, was $1.46 per gallon.

    The downward trend in gas prices may slow or cease because oil prices have climbed back up to $29 per barrel, Lundberg said.

    Oil traders have been "understandably nervous" in recent days because of the recent bombings in Saudi Arabia, Lundberg said. Other contributing factors are the lack of export volumes from Iraq, and OPEC's recent decision to reduce output by 2 million barrels a day in an attempt to stop the tumble of crude prices.

    The national average price of gasoline at self-serve pumps was about $1.52 for regular, $1.62 for mid-grade and $1.71 for premium.

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