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    Gas Prices Drop Across the U.S.

    Prices drop 2 cents nationwide, but nickel and dime increases could come soon, survey says.

    NEW YORK -- The nationwide average for gas price fell two cents during the past two weeks, resting at $2.79 per gallon of self-serve regular gasoline, CNN.com reported, citing the most recent Lundberg Survey, which tallies prices at about 5,000 stations.

    However, look for a reverse in the trend in coming weeks, Trilby Lundberg, publisher of the Lundberg Survey, told CNN.

    The drop "is only a blip in the price climb," she said, due to crude oil prices rising nearly 12 cents per gallon during the same period. "High crude oil prices have replaced refinery problems as the big gasoline price-change factor," she told CNN.

    While the increase cost of crude hasn't hit the pumps yet, it will soon. Price increases are "hiding in temporary losses in profit margins for refiners and retailers," Lundberg said. "Both sectors ate that loss."
    The current environment will change shortly, however. "That bottleneck will be very short-lived ... there is at least 5 to 10 cents on its way to the pump, and soon," she said.

    The only way to reverse the upcoming trend would be a steep drop in crude oil prices, "which is not a reasonable expectation right now," she said. Crude oil was trading at $81 per barrel over the weekend.

    Drivers in Newark, N.J., paid the least nationwide, at $2.51 per gallon on average, while Chicago drivers paid the most, at $3.16.

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