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Falling Price Of Crude Oil May Have Effect On Gas Prices

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The lower per-barrel cost of oil hadn't changed much at this Exxon station in Cleveland Park earlier this month, where the price of regular gas was still $4.42. Just two weeks later, the average price in the D.C. area is below $4.
Jessica Jordan
The lower per-barrel cost of oil hadn't changed much at this Exxon station in Cleveland Park earlier this month, where the price of regular gas was still $4.42. Just two weeks later, the average price in the D.C. area is below $4.

The price of crude oil plunged 15 percent at the end of last week, and now some analysts believe gas prices could follow suit.

The price of crude oil began the week at nearly $114 per barrel, but by the end of the week it dropped to under $100. That drop could eventually affect drivers that have been shelling out more than $4 a gallon for gas around the D.C. region.

Analysts say the drop could mean that gas prices have "peaked" for the season, and that they could get as low as $3.50 per gallon after Memorial Day.

Prices have crept higher than $4.35 in the District -- at the Exxon on Connecticut Avenue in Cleveland Park the price for regular gas is $4.42 today. The average throughout the District is $4.13, and in the D.C. metro area the average is still hovering around $4.

But officials from Automobile Association of America - Mid-Atlantic are warning drivers that they might not see immediate drops in prices at the pumps. Prices don't typically respond to a drop in crude oil prices as quickly as they do an increase, according to AAA.

For every $10 drop in the price of crude oil, gas prices will drop 25 cents a gallon, says AAA Mid-Atlantic’s John Townsend.

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