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Fill 'er up! Gas prices are likely the lowest you'll see until June

The recent drip in gas prices may not last, analysts say. [Getty Images]

The recent drip in gas prices may not last, analysts say. [Getty Images]

It's a blowout sale.

Gas prices are down this week to an average of $2.16 per gallon in Tampa and $2.27 per gallon in the U.S. This is likely the lowest point prices will be until June, analysts say, so enjoy it.

"The best time to fill up your tank is now because, historically, gas prices begin to climb until we reach Memorial Day," Josh Carrasco, a spokesman for AAA, wrote in a statement.

Prices are low because refineries are selling off their winter oil in advance of the May 1 switch to the pricey summer blend.

"Think about going to Nordstrom and they're trying to get rid of last season's clothes," said senior petroleum analyst Allison Mac.

But the prices will start to increase in the next few weeks when about a quarter of the oil refineries will shut down for maintenance.

The sale, however, is nothing compared to last year's ultra-low prices, which in Tampa Bay fell to $1.66 per gallon. Oil at the time was so inexpensive that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, known as OPEC, decided to cut back production and force the prices higher so that they could make money, Mac explained. Oil prices were roughly $44 per barrel at the time. This year, they're up to a more sustainable level: about $54 per barrel.

One month after the new president took office, there has still been no sign of a Trump-effect on prices at the pump, Mac said.

"Unless there's some sort of federal law or something we won't see any impact," she predicted.

Contact Alli Knothe at Follow @KnotheA.

Fill 'er up! Gas prices are likely the lowest you'll see until June 02/20/17 [Last modified: Monday, February 20, 2017 10:59am]
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