AAA Reports National Average Gas Prices Fall Below $3 Per Gallon

MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ — The nationwide average price for self-serve regular gasoline has dropped 10.1 cents per gallon since reaching a new record high of $3.057 on Labor Day, September 5, 2005. Today’s nationwide average price of $2.956 is 51.6 cents more expensive than it was one month ago and $1.115 higher than last year at this time.

“Crucial oil refineries, pipelines, petroleum shipping and off-shore drilling platforms were idled and/or damaged by Hurricane Katrina, which immediately resulted in a severe strain to our nation’s gasoline and diesel fuel distribution system,” said Dawn Duffy, AAA spokesperson. “The 45-cents- per-gallon price spike in the week after the storm was the largest ever recorded by AAA, and was accompanied by reports of many gasoline stations increasing prices several times in a single day, scattered fuel outages and motorists lining up to purchase fuel.”

Currently, futures prices for crude oil and gasoline are falling, and pump prices may continue to fall lower throughout the coming week. Crude oil is selling today at approximately $63 per barrel, $7 lower than right after the storm. The longer-term price picture is less clear for both oil and gasoline, because significant refining and oil producing assets were lost in the Gulf Coast region and it may be months before they are back on line.

Reports for September 13, 2005, reflect the following average prices per gallon for self-serve, regular unleaded gas:

Current Month Ago Year Ago

National $2.96 $2.44 $1.84
Minnesota $2.77 $2.41 $1.78
Duluth $2.85 $2.39 $1.79
Minneapolis/St. Paul $2.72 $2.44 $1.78
Rochester $2.76 $2.42 $1.76
St. Cloud $2.76 $2.41 $1.76

AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report is based upon data from the Oil Price Information Service, the nation’s most comprehensive source of petroleum pricing statistics, and can be found at http://www.fuelgaugereport.com/ .

AAA ( http://www.aaa.com/ ) offers automotive, travel, insurance and financial services to more than 45 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA Minnesota/Iowa is part of The Auto Club Group, with 4.1 million members in eight Midwest states. AAA Minneapolis serves more than 175,000 members in Hennepin County.

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