Plans by the U.S. and other countries to dip into key oil reserves won't push gasoline prices here below $3, experts say.
The U.S. will tap 30 million barrels from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve, as 727-million-barrel emergency stockpile on fears that war in Libya will disrupt production there and ultimately, world crude prices.
Other nations from around the world will kick in another 30 million barrels.
Experts say the move has less to do with Libya and more to do with high prices at the pump, which are politically unpopular.
"The good news is the consumer will see cheaper prices at the pump. I think we could start ticking under $3.50," says Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates, according to CNBC.
The national average for gasoline is $3.61 per gallon, according to AAA.
"I think we were headed lower mostly because of economic softness," says Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Service. "I believe this will hasten some declines, and I still think that $3.25 to $3.75 is the likely summer 2011 range. I do think you'll see some of the cheaper places get close to $3."
Gasoline prices a year ago averaged $2.74 a gallon, according to AAA.
Some experts say the move is really a stimulus measure, designed to speed up economic recovery. "It's an awfully paltry bit of stimulus, and if they did this for that reason, they're just grabbing at straws," says Mike Fitzpatrick, editor of the Kilduff Report Energy Overview.
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