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      Gas prices down 11 cents in 3 weeks, survey finds

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) - Average retail gas prices are down another 3.7 cents this week and more than 11 cents in the last three weeks.

      According to Gas Buddy, a gas price tracking website, average prices across the state are $3.16 per gallon. The national average fell less than 2 cents per gallon to $3.47 per gallon.

      "Motorists taking those late summer vacations continue to see their risk paying rewards: gasoline prices continue to hold near the lowest levels of the summer," said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan.

      Including the change in gas prices in South Carolina during the past week, prices yesterday were 6.3 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 16.8 cents per gallon lower than a month ago.

      The national average has decreased 15.4 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 8.2 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

      "It's relatively rare to see prices holding lower in the mid-to-late summer, as hurricanes tend to weigh on prices and demand for gasoline is highest during the second half of the summer. However, oil prices rallied in mid-June, altering the behavior of gasoline prices, and after the situation in Iraq cooled, it led to a widespread selloff in commodities that led to cheaper oil prices and refineries passed the savings onto motorists," DeHaan said.

      "Prices today versus last year are lower in many communities across the country. Meanwhile, the Great Lakes has seen its low prices thrust higher after several refinery issues and planned maintenance culminated at the same time, leading to a drop in available supply, leading to higher prices. The best news is that as the driving season concludes, prices are likely to drop- most significantly in late September through the holidays."

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