By Jon Delano

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Not long ago the price of crude oil topped $100 a barrel, and gasoline hit $3 to $4 a gallon.

“The way it’s been high, I never thought it would come back down,” said David Lynn of Ford City.

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But what a difference this year.

“This is fantastic. You can’t beat it. This is great,” added Rebecca Scandrol of Leechburg.

The state average gas price has dropped to $2.05 a gallon, as crude oil dipped to $28 a barrel with more oil than the market can use.

“OPEC has decided to continue to produce crude, and until they start pulling it back you’re going to see these prices maintained or go lower than they are now,” oil energy analyst Don Bowers told KDKA money editor Jon Delano.

The good news locally is that, finally, gas prices in some areas have dropped below two bucks a gallon.

“I haven’t seen that in 12, 15 years easily,” says Steve Repasky of Dormont.

And it’s well below $1.99 in some areas.

The lowest gas prices in the Pittsburgh area were just south of the Meadows on Route 19 in Washington County where gasoline is $1.86 a gallon, a result of a local gas war.

$1.86 a gallon?

“Never expected it,” said Lynn LeViseur of Bethel Park, “and with Speedy Rewards, you get three more cents off a gallon.”

That’s right. Don’t forget those fuel perks.

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At the Washington, Pa., GetGo, the perks drops the price to a $1.85.

So how low will it go?

Bowers predicts a $1.70 a gallon.

“I don’t see it going much lower than that, just because of the taxes we have.”

With a combined federal & state tax of 73 cents per gallon, Pennsylvania has the highest gas tax in the nation.

Search for gas prices in the local area at this link.

So how long might these low prices last?

At least until oil refineries shut down for maintenance in March, predicts Jeffrey Pelton, a senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy, and then, “We’re going to see gasoline potentially go up anywhere between 20 and 40 cents in that March-April period.”

“That’s the bad news,” says Pelton. “It should come back down.”

And then, depending on OPEC, notes Bowers, “You could see these prices going through the summer, into the fall, back into next winter.”

“Fantastic. Loving it,” exclaims Lynn LeViseur.

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