Large inventories of gasoline in advance of the Fourth of July mean Americans may find lower prices when they fill up at the pump this holiday weekend.
But prices may start climbing as chaos roils Egypt, where the military ousted democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday after only one year in office.
Although the country does not produce oil, it controls the Suez Canal and therefore has power over a major shipping lane that moves more than 2 million barrels of the world's oil supply daily. On Wednesday, oil prices shot up to more than $100 a barrel as the Egyptian political crisis deepened.
Gasoline prices have declined 5% since May 21 to $3.48 a gallon, according to AAA, which tracks fuel prices. At the same time, stockpiles of the fuel for this time of year rose to the highest level since 1992, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Gas prices have been falling in part because of growing energy self-sufficiency, the result of new technology that is allowing companies to access huge amounts of oil locked in previously inaccessible shale formations in places such as North Dakota and Texas. That has helped gas prices drop 21 straight days, the AAA said.
According to the EIA, the U.S. met 89% of its energy needs in March, the highest level since 1986.
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