Gas prices at lowest level since 2010

Drivers paid less at the pump in 2013 than the previous two years, AAA reported on Tuesday.


U.S. drivers paid on average $3.49 per gallon for gas in 2013, down from a peak in 2012 of $3.60. It's also down from 2011, when drivers paid an average of $3.51 per gallon, the second highest price on record.

"It was a relief to see gas prices decline in 2013 following record-breaking pain at the pump in recent years," said Jenny M. Robinson of AAA in a statement on Tuesday.

"Our hope is that prices will continue to fall as cars grow increasingly fuel efficient and refineries expand production to take advantage of the recent boom in North American crude oil."

The trend is expected to continue in 2014.

Forecasts are for gas prices to reach an average slightly less than this year in 2014, as refineries expand production.

The Energy Information Administration reported that U.S. crude oil production surpassed foreign imports for the first time in 20 years in November. The surge in production is expected to provide a supply cushion that limits price spikes in 2014, AAA said.

Despite a two-year low in gas prices, drivers are expected to pay more at the pump for New Year's Eve — the fourth year of record-breaking prices heading into the new year. The national average for Tuesday is $3.32.