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Gas Prices Lowest for This Time of Year Since 2005

The average gasoline price nationwide is the cheapest it has been at this point in the year since 2005, according to GasBuddy, a site that monitors gas prices.

The national average for gasoline is now $2.35 as of Friday—a three-cent drop this week and two cents less than it was in 2016 at this point in the year.

Prices were lower Friday than in 2016 in 23 states, but states such as Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin see the most pronounced drop in prices.

The New York Times reported that the cause of this major dip in price was due to the Energy Department’s report that U.S. inventories of crude oil and gasoline surged a week before, despite a heavy travel Memorial Day weekend, when lots of cars were on the road.

On Wednesday, crude oil went down five percent and plunged to less than $46 a barrel, a price that is close to a one-year low.

The drop in price is striking given that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided to cut production this year, and Saudi Arabia recently cut ties with Qatar for supporting terrorism Monday.

But this drop in oil prices is not expected to last forever.

Energy experts say the low gasoline prices will only last for a few weeks because of high demand during the summer months. If oil prices stay low, prices will eventually go up even higher because of less oil production.

“This is a slump, a buying opportunity, and Americans can enjoy it,” said Tom Kloza, energy analysis head of Oil Price Information Service. “But I think it is a little bit of an anomaly, and I expect to see higher crude oil prices in the second half of the year.”

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