Gas prices in Tampa area averaging $2.55 a gallon, down over $0.25 from a month ago.
Copyright 2010 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Drivers can thank the slower driving season and a glut of supply for the continuing slide in gas pump prices.
The national average for a gallon of regular was $2.694 on Monday, according to AAA, Wright Express and the Oil Price Information Service. That's 3.2 cents lower than it was a week ago and 19 cents higher than a year ago.
The highest prices are still in the West and Illinois, ranging from $2.825 a gallon to $3.513 a gallon. The lowest prices are in Texas -- and parts of the South and the Midwest -- from $2.499 a gallon to $2.573 a gallon. Louisiana drivers paid slightly higher prices, from $2.582 a gallon to $2.652 a gallon.
Prices have been affected by regional factors in the past couple of weeks. Motorists in parts of the South headed to pumps to fill up in anticipation of tropical storms that might have disrupted Gulf of Mexico production, but the storms steered clear, PFGBest analyst Phil Flynn said. In addition, prices in the Midwest spiked after the recent shutdown of a pipeline feeding Midwestern refineries. That pipeline is delivering crude again.
Most analysts expect retail gasoline prices to stay steady in October and November, as supplies remain plentiful and demand is listless compared with a peak summer driving season.
Tom Kloza, publisher and chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Service, thinks gasoline prices will fall over the next few weeks, to about $2.25 a gallon in the cheaper markets and to $2.75 a gallon in more expensive locations.
In other energy trading, oil prices edged lower as traders watched the stock markets for clues about the pace of economic growth. Stocks ended the day lower, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average off about 48 points.
Benchmark oil for November delivery added 3 cents to settle at $76.52 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Investors will be closely watching the latest indicators on U.S. consumer confidence on Tuesday and second quarter gross domestic product on Thursday, figures "which could make or break the equities rally," according to The Schork Report, an energy consultancy.
In other Nymex trading, natural gas fell as tropical storms threats to Gulf of Mexico production evaporated. Natural gas lost 8.1 cents to settle at $3.800 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Heating oil fell 0.78 cent to settle at $2.1228 a gallon and gasoline added 0.17 cent to $1.9488 a gallon.
In London, Brent crude lost 30 cents to settle at $78.57 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.
Associated Press writers Pablo Gorondi in Hungary and Alex Kennedy in Singapore contributed to this report.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Forecasters say a tropical depression crossing Mexico's Bay of Campeche has gotten better organized and has become Tropical Storm Barry.