Gas prices have been slowly dropping at the pumps and are expected to be 20 to 25 cents lower by the end of October.
According to information gathered by GasBuddy.com, a company that conducts daily surveys of gas prices around the United States, the drop can be attributed to the fact that the summer driving season is over, thus lowering demand for crude oil.
"Kids are back in school, and people aren't taking vacations or doing as much discretionary spending," said Patrick DeHaan, a Chicago-based senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. "In Northwest Indiana, people aren't spending as much time on their boats in Lake Michigan. There's less vacation travel, and people aren't going to visit their lake cottages."
DeHaan added that the switch to a cheaper winter blend might also be related to the lower new prices.
Although gas prices traditionally drop in the fall, DeHaan noted that this year's drop will be even steeper because the hurricane season has passed without inflicting much damage to Gulf Coast oil refineries.
DeHaan pointed out that the high cost of oil might prompt a few refineries to cut back on production, thus restoring the old prices. He said the balance could switch daily.