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Gas prices fall as Northeast travel restricted

The national average for a gallon of gasoline is about 26 cents less than it was a month ago.

Danny Johnston/Associated Press

The national average for a gallon of gasoline is about 26 cents less than it was a month ago.

NEW YORK — Gasoline prices fell Wednesday as travel in the storm-battered Northeast remained restricted. The national average for a gallon of gasoline fell 1.3 cents overnight to $3.521 per gallon, according to AAA. That’s about 26 cents less than a month ago.

The drop in demand for gas has overshadowed limited production at the nine refineries in the region. Seven refineries have been operating at reduced rates and the other two closed. Crews worked to restore the facilities to normal operation but, in some cases, were hampered by power outages.

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Although gasoline supplies are plentiful in the region, some supply terminals were closed. And some stations were closed because of a lack of power.

Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at OPIS, predicted the average nationwide price of gasoline will fall below $3.50 per gallon in the next couple of weeks, with the steepest declines in the Southeast and on the West Coast.

Prices could remain flat or increase temporarily in the Northeast until there is a better idea of when supplies will be readily available again, he said.

Benchmark crude rose 39 cents to $86.07 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, fell 22 cents to $108.86 per barrel in London.

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