Improved output at Midwest refineries during the past week, caused the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline to plummet another eight cents to $2.88.

In Oregon, the decline was a bit more moderate at about 4 cents a gallon to $2.89, matching the average price at the end of March. In the Portland metropolitan area, some retailers already are selling below $2.70. Only 13 states currently have average prices above $3 per gallon.

Consumers are enjoying the steadily declining pump prices even as the price of crude oil approaches record levels. On Tuesday, oil traded at $77 per barrel, the highest price since August 2006 when Israel invaded Lebanon, and near the all-time high of $78 per barrel.

"It's possible the cost for gasoline will back-off by as much as another 5-10 cents per gallon by the end of August," said AAA Oregon Public Affairs Director Elliott Eki, "But any predictions are subject to a lot of unknowns."

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