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Gas prices drop, may have hit bottom of barrel

The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in the United States slipped 2 cents in the past two weeks, though the decline may soon end unless crude oil drops further, according to the Lundberg survey.

The average price of just more than $3.36 per gallon is about 22 cents cheaper than six weeks ago, based on the Oct. 18 survey of some 2,500 retail stations in the lower 48 states, said survey editor Trilby Lundberg. Prices are 39 cents cheaper than a year ago.

"Unless crude prices slip further from here, I think this is probably it for the retail price decline; the pace of decline has already greatly slowed," said Lundberg, who is based in Camarillo, California.

U.S. crude futures fell 2.9 percent over the past two weeks. "If they fall further," Lundberg said, "that could give more breathing room for refiners to cut prices, but right now they have skimpy margins for gasoline."

Albuquerque, New Mexico, had the least expensive gasoline in the country at $3.03 per gallon, according to the survey, while drivers in San Francisco - often the country's priciest gasoline market - paid the most, at $3.81 per gallon.

In California, the lowest average price was $3.64 in Sacramento. The average statewide for a gallon of regular was $3.74, a drop of 9 cents.