Drivers will see the lowest summer gasoline prices in about six years, according to the Energy Department.
The national average price is forecast to fall 32 percent from a year ago to $2.45 a gallon between April and September, the period when Americans do most of their driving. That would mark the lowest seasonal average since 2009.
For the year, the department’s Energy Information Administration expects gasoline to average $2.40 a gallon, down from $3.36 the year before.
The lower prices are a result of oil supplies growing faster than demand because of higher production in North America and elsewhere. That dynamic has been depressing the price of crude oil.
But, the Energy Department warned that the forecast could substantially change if oil-related sanctions against Iran are lifted as part of ongoing negotiations. That country is believed to hold at least 30 million gallons of oil in storage.
The price of Brent crude, a benchmark used to price oil used by many U. S. refineries and the most important factor in gasoline prices, is forecast to fall 40 percent this year.
U.S. drivers are expected to use slightly more gasoline, a 1.6 percent increase, during the summer. But gasoline spending by household are expected to be the lowest since 2004, according to the EIA, with people spending about $700 less on gasoline in 2015.
In the Kansas City area Tuesday, prices ranged from $2.08 to $2.19, according to GasBuddy.com. A year ago, the average in Kansas City was $3.35.
The average price of gasoline in the U.S. was $2.38 a gallon Tuesday, down 33 percent from last year, according to AAA and GasBuddy.com.