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Summer's end brings cheaper gas
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Cheapest gas in town

* For a gallon of regular unleaded, as of 4 p.m. Tuesday

$2.59 — Costco, both ARCO stations on Lander Avenue

$2.63 — ARCO stations at 2015 W. Main and 210 N. Golden State, Quik Stop on Geer Road, Safeway (cash only)

$2.65 — Quik Stop on W. Monte Vista, ARCO at 4700 N. Golden State

As summer comes to an end, gas prices continue to plunge as an ongoing oversupply of crude oil and record-high refinery output continues to drive state and national gas prices down, according to AAA Northern California’s latest gas survey.

On Tuesday, the average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline in the state was $3.26 — a $0.30 decrease in one month. In Turlock, the average price was $2.48 for a gallon of unleaded gasoline.

The 2015 summer driving season ended with the national average at its lowest point for the Labor Day holiday in more than a decade, a savings of $1.04 per gallon in comparison to last year’s holiday. Motorists were paying an average price of $2.39 per gallon at the pump on Tuesday across the country. Alaska’s average, $3.35 was the highest in the nation. California’s average price, $3.26, was the second highest, followed by Nevada with $3.10 on average per gallon. South Carolina slipped under the $2 mark with an average price of $1.97.

 “Nationwide, prices are expected to continue to drop through the fall,” reports Cynthia Harris, AAA Northern California spokesperson. “This expectation is contingent upon the price of crude remaining relatively low and refineries being able to perform routine maintenance as they switch to the lower cost winter formulation.”

The conclusion of the summer driving season also signals the start of the seasonal switchover to winter-blend gasoline in many parts of the country on Sept. 16. The Environmental Protection Agency requires certain areas to use a specified blend of gasoline, commonly referred to as summer-blend gasoline, in order to address air quality issues during the summer months. This more expensive summer-blend gasoline is not required during the winter months and prices tend to fall following the completion of this seasonal switchover.

Crude oil prices have been volatile in recent weeks and a long-term bearish sentiment continues to underscore the global oil market as supplies continue to outstrip demand. A group of OPEC ministers as well as representatives from non-OPEC countries in the Persian Gulf will meet this week. Although oil prices are not officially on the agenda, the market is expected to closely monitor developments at this meeting for clues about OPEC’s plans for production.

 West Texas Intermediate crude opened Tuesday's trading session down approximately $0.60 per barrel, after closing Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX down $0.70, settling at $46.05 per barrel.