The new year should feature another round of pleasant prices at the gas pump.

LorenzoPatoia, ThinkStock

We spoke to a petroleum analyst with who says drivers can expect to save about $400 on gasoline compared to 2015 prices.

In fact, the first big drop is expected in the immediate future.

"Talking to other analysts, we feel there's at least 15 to 20 cents out there in declines," said GasBuddy's Jeff Pelton, noting $1.50 per gallon is still a possibility, particularly at chains such as Costco and Wawa, which consider gasoline a "loss leader" to bring consumers into the retail store where the real margins are made.

"Gas should decline through January, into the middle of February, and then it gets a little spotty," Pelton added.

When refinery maintenance kicks in during March, a rather pronounced hike is expected at the pumps - anywhere from 20 to 40 cents. Even if prices jump to the $1.90 range, though, they will still be at a lower point than where they were 12 months prior.

Once maintenance is over and the product is churning at normal speed again, Pelton said, drivers can expect "good prices" during the summer season.

To end 2015, the average price for a gallon of regular in New Jersey was $1.83 on Dec. 31, compared to $2.28 one year prior.

Lowest Gas Prices in New Jersey
New Jersey Gas Prices provided by