Gasoline prices are dropping

New Orleans, La. - Drivers are seeing some relief at the pump.  The average cost of gasoline in New Orleans has fallen 4.5 cents per gallon in the past week, according to GasBuddy.  A survey of more than 400 gas stations in New Orleans shows the average cost is now $3.39 a gallon.

The Lundberg Survey says refiners are over-producing gasoline and slashing their wholesale prices to move product. Of the cities surveyed in the Lower 48 states, Charleston, S. C., has the nation's lowest average price for regular gasoline at $3.27 a gallon. Chicago and San Diego have the highest average price at $3.92.

The lowest average price in California is $3.72 in Sacramento. The average statewide for a gallon of regular is $3.86, down 11 cents from two weeks ago., meanwhile did find at least one location where gasoline dipped below the $3 mark.   "While gas prices in Anderson, SC have hit $2.99/gal in the last week, nationally, pump prices have also seen drops amounting to an average drop of a nickel per gallon," said Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. "Prices finally have dropped under their year ago values, just in time for those last minute vacations before school starts. The rest of the summer will likely see prices flirting with where they stand today, but more significant relief will arrive around mid-September, when prices nationally could be 10-25 cents per gallon lower than where they are today," DeHaan said.

Comparing to a year ago, drivers in New Orleans are paying 13.0 cents per gallon lower than the same time in 2012, but that's still slightly higher - 2.6 cents per gallon - than a month ago. The national average has decreased 1.2 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 9.1 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.