Gas prices in area decrease by 5 cents Drop mirrors national trend


Gasoline prices at Baltimore area service stations have fallen by more than 5 cents a gallon in the past several weeks.

A survey that revealed the same trend nationwide attributed the drop to lower winter demand and increased oil supplies.

The average price for all grades of gasoline at full- and self-service stations, including taxes, was $1.2522 per gallon on Friday, according to the biweekly Lundberg Survey of more than 13,000 service stations nationwide.

L The survey found the price was down 5.13 cents from Jan. 25.

"This drop is much more than often occurs. . . during the usual winter demand slump, so this points to a modest overabundance of supplies," oil industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said yesterday.

Lundberg cited oil companies increasing production to offset the loss of supplies from Iraq and Kuwait. Prices also dropped in part because of lower motorist demand during the winter months, she said.

A random sampling of gasoline prices at stations in the Baltimore area showed prices today are even lower. Prices of self-serve, regular unleaded was down more than a nickel a gallon compared with prices at the stations end of January.

Those sampled were:

* Rosedale Texaco, 7514 Pulaski Highway, $1.12, down from $1.19.

* Rolling Road Exxon, 7415 Windsor Mill Road, $1.12, down from $1.19.

TTC * Benfield Road Citgo, Route 3 & Benfield Road, $1.12, down from $1.18.

* Adolph Ray Citgo, 1726 York Road, $1.11, down from $1.17.

* Columbia Amoco, Route 29 & St. Johns Lane, $1.14, down from $1.22.

* Beltway Sunoco, 8730 Pulaski Highway, $1.17, down from $1.24.

* Campus Hills Chevron, 832 Providence Road, $1.17, down from $1.22.

* Harundale Texaco, Aquahart Road & Greenway, $1.11, down from $1.16.

After Iraq's Aug. 2 invasion of Kuwait, gasoline prices peaked at $1.4709 on Oct. 19. Prices since have fallen an average of 21.87 cents despite a 5-cent federal gas tax increase on Dec. 1, according to the Lundberg study.

According a survey conducted Feb. 1 by the American Automobile Association of Maryland, the average price of self-serve, regular unleaded gasoline was $1.215. The average mid-grade price was $1.322 and the average high-grade gas was $1.419. The survey was taken of 30 gasoline stations throughout Maryland, excluding Prince George's, Charles and Montgomery counties.

Polly Shoemaker said the February survey showed the most dramatic drop in gasoline prices the AAA has seen since it began conducting the survey in 1974. The average per gallon price of self-serve regular unleaded gasoline on Jan. 4 was $1.335. Mid-grade gasoline was $1.43 and high-grade was $1.534.

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