WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Gas prices reached their lowest August levels in four years and there's an opportunity for broad sections of the country to see the average price of regular gasoline sell for $3 or less by the end of the year, said GasBuddy Chief Oil Analyst Tom Kloza.
According to AAA, the national average on Aug. 4 for unleaded gasoline dropped below $3.50 per gallon ($3.4997) for the first time since March 12, with gas prices decreasing in 48 states and Washington, D.C., on a month-on-month basis. Only Wyoming and Idaho saw an increase compared to the prior month.
The price is likely to drop further as refineries enter a peak production period and cheaper components -- such as butane -- are used to manufacture autumn and winter gasoline, Kloza told Benzinga.
The Southeast, most of the Midwest, Great Lakes and the Rockies are expected to benefit most, Kloza noted, with gas prices expected to settle in for $3 or less per gallon in these areas in the fourth quarter.
Other areas will also benefit. The national average should dip below $3.25 per gallon sometime in Q4, he told the news source.
As always, many factors could prevent gas prices from dropping significantly in the late fall and early winter, including ongoing tensions in Africa and the Middle East.