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AAA: Expect another holiday gift at the gas pump

U.S. consumers should expect another present from energy producers this holiday season, according to AAA.

The organization's latest monthly gas price report says the current average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.75, the lowest national average in over four years. Overall gas prices are also about 52 cents per gallon less than this time a year ago. And AAA is estimating Americans are saving around $200 million per day at the pump, compared to 2013.

"Gas prices have fallen at a remarkable pace that would have been unthinkable just a few months ago," AAA spokesman Avery Ash said in a statement. "Lower gas prices represent real door-buster savings as everyone begins their holiday shopping."

The ongoing shale oil production boom in North America -- as well as OPEC's recent decision to keep its current oil production levels at 30 million barrels per day -- are several of the major factors behind this latest drop in oil and gas prices.

Oil remains a global commodity, however, and there are concerns the plunging prices on crude could force U.S. production to slow down, and therefore bring prices back up. But for the moment, AAA says, Americans driving this holiday season should be enjoying the lowest gas prices in years -- with gasoline expected to fall another 15 to 20 cents per gallon in the near term.

"We could see prices drop to the lowest levels since the Great Recession if the cost of crude oil continues to set multi-year lows," said Ash.

AAA says 42 states currently have average gas prices of below $3.00 per gallon. And there's a possibility that every state -- with the exceptions of Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii and New York -- could have average gas prices below the $3.00 mark by next week.

The five states with the lowest gas prices, for now, are Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas -- with a gallon of gas in those states running between $2.44 and $2.53.

The website, meanwhile, is reporting one station in Oklahoma City just lowered its price for a gallon of regular unleaded by 12 cents, from $2.11 to $1.99, a move that the site says instantly made that facility "the most loved gas station in America."

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