Metro area motorists are actually enjoying some pleasure at the gas pump these days, with prices near or below three dollars a gallon.
"We're looking at prices, now, that we haven't seen for a long while," says AAA spokesman Don Redman. "As a matter of fact, you'd have to go back to December of 2012 to where you saw prices about the same where we are right now...about $3.15 a gallon...that's our statewide average"
"This time last year we were $3.48 a gallon. So, we're almost a good 33 cents a gallon cheaper than we were a year ago."
And, he says the pleasure likely to increase as the prices continue to decrease.
"It looks like there's great potential that we could see further decline in gas prices in the coming weeks."
Redman says we're already seeing some gas in the area at three bucks or less.
"Pretty soon, it'll be across the metropolitan area that you'll be seeing a wide spread number of retail outlets selling gas below three dollars a gallon," Redman says.
He says we should see prices continue to drop from this point to a possible statewide average below three dollars by year's end.
"That's an average that we haven't seen in a while. You'd have to go back to 2011 before you saw prices below three dollars a gallon."
Crude oil prices fell below $100 a barrel Monday for the first time since July. The drop came on word of a fresh Energy Information Administration report on higher-than-expected domestic supplies.
Separately, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said there could be a drop in energy demand if the global economy weakens.
With ample supplies, lower seasonal demand, refineries producing cheaper winter-grade gas, and tensions in the Middle East continuing to ebb, motorists are likely to find their cheapest gas in three years
And, Redman is confident we're not in for any kind of spike.
"Barring any kind of major, unseen disruption of the supply system, we should see prices continue to drop from this point to the end of the year."
"It certainly will be a welcome Christmas gift if, indeed, that holds true," says Redman.