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Experts say gas prices should begin to drop to $3.30

8:52 PM, Sep 3, 2012   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida - "It seems every day it gets higher and higher," said Denise Parrinelli.

Motorists say every penny gas goes up, their driving goes down. Denise is down to a minimal amount of driving, just to work and back. It's a change in driving habits that crosses generation.

"I don't drive as much. I don't go out and do many things as much," said Sean Klitsch.

Denise said, "It'll be a relief to see it come down."

Relief may be in sight. "We could see prices down to $3.30," said Gregg Laskoski, a petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.com. He said we typically see a drop in gas prices during the fourth quarter of the year. "Simply because now, at this time of year, refineries are producing winter blend. That gas is cheaper to produce, has fewer additives."

Laskoski said during the last month, demand went up at the pump while oil production dropped, sending gas prices up a record high of 30 cents.

He said, "Hurricane Isaac took a bad situation and made it worse by the timing and where it struck." He said Isaac shut down or cut back production at about 10 refineries. But during the fall months, demand drops, allowing motorists to save at the pump.

"If we don't have a weather event, if we don't have crisis in the Middle East, then I think you will see prices come down consistently," said Laskoski.

A 40 or 50 cent drop may help, but is it enough when gas prices are already nearing the $4 mark?

Sean said a 40 or 50 cent drop isn't enough. He said, "I think if it drops a dollar a gallon to $2.75 or so, I think that'll be huge. It'll be a help to people. Somebody can save 10 bucks on a fill. If they up fill up twice a week, that's 20 dollars a week, 80 dollars a month. That's a cell phone bill or a credit card payment."

Laskoski said gas prices should start dropping in a few weeks as soon as the refineries that shut down in the Gulf during Hurricane Isaac are fully operating again.

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