It's a welcome bit of good news for Garden State drivers: prices at the pump have dropped about 35 cents per gallon over the past month and a half and the trend should continue later this fall.

(Steven Puetzer, Getty Images)

"We're in good shape because of domestic production, we're also in good shape because it looks as though the first half of the year was a little bit front-end loaded in terms of demand. We probably saw higher demand than we might ordinarily see in June, maybe as a vestige of the longer winter that we had," said Tom Kloza, the chief oil analyst for

He said despite a lot of misgivings about what may happen in Russia and the Middle East, we've maintained very ample supplies of oil, and that's helped to quell fears about oil prices shooting higher.

Kloza said the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular in New Jersey right now is just under $3.40, and "my hunch is we'll probably stick around these numbers for a while and then we'll drop fairly sharply in the fourth quarter of this year.

He said if you're someone that wants to actively look for the cheapest gasoline, "you can get really close to $3 a gallon in some parts of New Jersey right now, although the average is just under $3.40, but it takes very little effort probably to find something in the $3.25 neighborhood. I suspect that's the kind of price we'll see for most of August."

Once demand drops in late September or early October, Kloza predicts we'll see prices "that match the fall lows that we've seen in the last few years, which is to say you're going to be able to find some stations for less than $3, and maybe the average price will be somewhere between three, and three and a quarter."

Kloza said threats of hurricanes in the Gulf can lead to prices climbing higher over the next few months - which is why it's uncertain how much prices will drop in the next 40 days.

"What's very certain though is that Halloween, Election Day, Thanksgiving, you're going to see some of the lowest prices you've seen since probably 2010," he said.

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