Video: Low pump pressure

updated 8/30/2004 11:37:51 AM ET 2004-08-30T15:37:51

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.

There hasn't been much change at the gas pumps lately.

Oil industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline was $1.88, an increase of a half-cent in the past two weeks.

Lundberg said the uptick was due to the rising cost of crude oil. But she noted that oil prices have dipped recently, and said she expects the same will be true for gasoline.

Gasoline prices have been very volatile this summer. They peaked in May, but since then have fallen more than 20 cents a gallon.

Lundberg said barring any oil shortages, she expects to see gas prices to drop further as autumn approaches.

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