Gas Price Drop Ends; No Spike Expected

Monday, August 30th 2004, 10:55 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Gas prices nudged upward about half a penny in the last two weeks after dropping more than 20 cents since May 21, but another price spike is not expected due to a decline in crude oil prices, an industry analyst said Sunday.

The combined national average for all grades of gasoline was $1.91, said Trilby Lundberg, who publishes the semimonthly Lundberg Survey. The price was up from $1.90 on Aug. 13.

The survey, taken Friday, polls about 7,000 gas stations across the United States.

Lundberg said the slight upsurge came from an increase in crude oil, which peaked Aug. 19 at $48.70 before falling to $43.18.

Self-serve regular, the biggest seller, was $1.88. Mid-grade national average was $1.97 and the U.S. average of premium was $2.07.

``Crude oil's price cut will be working its way to the pump,'' Lundberg said, adding that unless there were an actual loss of crude oil supply, pump prices will ``be sliding down into Labor Day and beyond.''

Lundberg attributed the slip in crude oil prices to world oil supply catching up with world demand.

The spike in crude oil came when world demand showed higher numbers than expected at the same time as OPEC cut production. She said OPEC has since increased production to take advantage of higher prices.

As a result, ``world demand has now been more than satisfied by the supply, and crude oil prices are now headed down,'' she said.

Lundberg attributed a spike in gas prices earlier this year to new environmental protection regulation and maintenance at refineries.