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Gas Prices This Weekend Will Be Highest in Six Years

It could be worse, though, and prices are expected to retreat later this summer.
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Fill 'er up this weekend and watch your wallet shrink. Consumers will pay the highest Fourth of July gasoline prices in six years, but pump prices would be far higher if not for dramatic changes in the U.S. oil industry. Both the production and refining sides of the industry are contributing to a better supply environment, thanks to the oil shale boom and significant expansion of the U.S. refining industry in the last several years. Prices are expected to go lower this summer, and by Labor Day could be 7 cents to 12 cents cheaper per gallon than the current national average of $3.67 per gallon. "Without hurricanes, I would say Labor Day, I would be looking at something in the $3.55 to $3.60 neighborhood," said Tom Kloza, oil analyst with Gasoline prices typically decline between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, but this year prices rose, as the Iraq situation drove up crude oil prices.

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-- By Patti Domm, CNBC Executive News Editor