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Tampa gas prices down 50 cents since spring

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Published:   |   Updated: March 20, 2013 at 02:18 PM
TAMPA -

Gas prices in the Tampa Bay area fell for a seventh week in a row, and some stations now charge 50 cents less per gallon than their spring highs of $4 per gallon.

A gallon of regular unleaded now averages $3.471 in Tampa Bay, down from $3.535 a week ago and $3.715 a month ago. 

Prices could fall further as the price of crude oil responds to political pressure around the world. 

Statewide, a gallon of regular unleaded now averages $3.532 per gallon according to AAA Auto Club South. That's down from $3.595 a week ago and $3.748 a month ago. 

Last week, the International Energy Agency announced plans to release 60 million barrels of oil onto the market, including 30 million from U.S. reserves after OPEC failed to come to any agreements over how to replace oil lost to the market from turmoil in Libya.

Oil prices had been dropping already on news of continued slow economic growth, and following the IEA news, oil fell to $91.61 per barrel on some markets, down $1.85 from the week before.

"Although oil prices were falling before the IEA announcement, the reserves will help keep downward pressure on oil prices and cause retail gas prices to drop even further during the coming weeks," said Jessica Brady, spokesperson, AAA Auto Club South. "On average gas prices have fallen about 5 cents a week and the trend is expected to continue."

rmullins@tampatrib.com

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