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Knoxville — A recent national survey of gasoline prices at the retail level found that the average price for a gallon of self-serve regular was $1.49.

A University of Tennessee-Chattanooga oil industry analyst said prices have dropped since their peak in late June.

“There’s a good reason for it,” said Dr. Ziad Keilany, who teaches economics at UTC. “The Saudis are pumping an extra 500,000 barrels of oil a day, on top of an OPEC increase of 700,000 barrels a day, and that helps soften the price of oil.”

The Lundberg Survey found gasoline prices down from the June 23 peak of $1.67.

Keilany said prices may stop dropping if OPEC cuts back on production.

“The demand is vigorous, but the supply is catching up slightly,” Keilany said. “Until recently the supply was so low, and demand was so high, that the discrepancy created high gas prices. Now, the supply is rising and prices are dropping.”

The Lundberg report surveys gasoline prices at thousands of service stations all around the nation.