It seems Jersey gas prices have been slipping slightly lower of late, just as Memorial Day, the unofficial start of the summer driving season, appears down the road.

Tom Kloza, an analyst with The Oil Price Information Service, says Jersey’s average right now is about $2.42 for regular gas, and would be considerably lower without that big state gas tax hike — “but there are numbers quite a bit lower than that, in the $2.20s.”

Over the last three weeks, gas prices in the spot markets and the wholesale markets have dropped by about 25 to 30 cents.

"What you are seeing now is kind of the tape delay of what has been happening for about 20 business days throughout the country," Kloza said.

Kloza pins a lot of those softening prices on two factors, weak demand and a glut of crude oil on markets, especially domestic ones.

"We are running about 1.4 million barrels a day more crude than we did on this day last year," he said. "There is just an incredible amount of crude oil. Libya is coming back on with some more crude. Canada is increasing its crude output, and U.S shale is rising. So it is offsetting some of the OPEC cuts.

"Even if we eliminate 30 or 40 or 50-million barrels of the glut this year, and that is just a fraction of how much the worldwide glut is. We are going to be turning that crude oil into gasoline."

Kloza says he has backed off from predictions that we will get to $2.55 to $2.75 this summer because there is just too much crude in what he calls the "non-OPEC world."

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Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor at New Jersey 101.5.

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