Gas prices remain below $3

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gasDelaware gas prices remained below $3 in many locations as supplies remained abundant.

The Fuel Gauge Report of Wilmington-based AAA Mid-Atlantic reported an average price in the state of $3.07 a gallon, dropping to about $3.02 a gallon in the Dover.

That was well below the national average price of $3.20 a gallon. Prices below $3  a gallon for regular were common in the Newark area.

A station in Elsmere, west of Wilmington, posted  a price of $2.89 a gallon, according to the Gas Buddy website. A station in Dover posted a $2.94 a gallon price.

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The lower prices continue a trend that saw driver paying the lowest September gas price since 2010, down about 44 cents from 2010, according to AAA-Mid Atlantic.

Gas prices fell by about a dime a gallon during September.

AAA Mid-Atlantic cited increases in domestic gasoline production as a big reason for the lower prices. That production has also insulated the US from price swings caused by turmoil in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Recent declines in the stock market are also linked to the crude oil price decline as economic worries persist.

One beneficiary of the change is the Delaware City Refinery, which now receives a large amount of crude oil from North Dakota and Canada, via railroad tank cars.

The refinery often takes advantage of  often-lower prices for crude oil from North Dakota and Canada that can fatten margins, even with the added costs of rail transport.

Also a factor was the lack of hurricanes this year. Producers in the Guif of Mexico typically halt production when a hurricane approaches their platforms.  The storm threat continues in October, a month that saw extensive destruction in New Jersey and New York  from Hurricane Sandy.

The $3 gas price is expected to persist in the winter.  One factor that could keep prices from falling further is maintenance on refineries that have performed well during the peak driving season.

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