January 24, 2016 / 11:53 PM / in 2 years

Average U.S. gas price drops 14 cents in two weeks: Lundberg

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States fell 14 cents in the past two weeks to its lowest level in seven years, according to a Lundberg survey released on Sunday.

A natural gas flare on an oil well pad burns as the sun sets outside Watford City, North Dakota January 21, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen

Regular grade gas fell to $1.91 per gallon in the Jan. 22 survey from $2.05 on Jan. 8, when the previous survey was taken. The price was the lowest since Jan. 23, 2009, when it was roughly $1.86, survey publisher Trilby Lundberg said.

The latest price was 16 cents lower than a year ago as the continued plunge in crude oil prices drove gas prices lower, Lundberg said.

She said, however, that the latest average gas price could mark a bottom if a rebound in crude prices that occurred on Friday continued.

“If crude oil prices do not slip back down, then this will end the gasoline price decline, and if oil prices recover more substantially from here, then it will also spell some rises in the average pump price,” she said.

Oil prices sank to their lowest levels since 2003 during the survey’s reporting period before surging 10 percent last Friday, as bearish traders who took record short positions scrambled to close them, betting the market’s long rout may finally be over.

In the Lundberg panel of large cities in 48 states, the lowest average retail price for gas was in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at $1.48 per gallon, and the highest was in Los Angeles, at $2.80 per gallon.

Reporting by Sam Forgione; Editing by Paul Simao

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