MANATEE — Gas prices are falling like the winter-time snow.
The lowest Manatee County gas prices were $2.53 per gallon at BP, 2790 Manatee Ave E.; Citgo, 802 15th St. E.; and 2306 Manatee Ave. E.
The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded ($2.70) dropped 10 cents in the past week, and is the lowest price since September 2010. The average price has fallen for 73 consecutive days - dropping 66 cents since Sept. 26.
"The shale boom continues putting downward pressure on the price of oil, which pushes gas prices even lower," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "Oil prices are forecast to drift lower next week, which means gas prices will follow suit. Gas prices could fall another 15 cents before the end of the year. It's possible that motorists could find some stations selling gas as low $2 a gallon in some markets, but it's unlikely that average prices would hit those levels."
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The price of oil dropped to the lowest level in five years. A barrel of WTI settled at $65.84 - 31 cents cheaper than the week prior. The shale boom has helped boost U.S. oil production to 9.08 million barrels a day - the fastest rate on record, which dates back to 1983.
Florida's average price ($2.70) is 7 cents cheaper than a week ago, 73 cents cheaper than this time last year. The state average fell for the 65th consecutive day Sunday, dropping 62 cents since Oct. 4.
Georgia's average price ($2.61) is 8 cents cheaper than a week ago, 62 cents cheaper than this time last year. The state average fell for the 66th consecutive day Sunday, dropping 70 cents since Oct. 3.
Tennessee's average price ($2.49) is 8 cents cheaper than last week, 64 cents cheaper than this time last year. The state average fell for the 23rd consecutive day Sunday, falling 19 cents since Nov. 11.