The national average price for a gallon of diesel dipped below the $3 mark for the week ending Sept. 4, reports According to the U.S. Energy Info Agency, the national average price fell 6¢ to $2.967/gal., down from $3.027 the week before. It was the third consecutive week of falling diesel prices.

Every U.S. region reported a decrease. The Midwest recorded the biggest drop -- 8.9¢/gal. to $2.937, followed by Gulf Coast region at 5¢ to $2.872. The West Coast region as a whole fell 3¢ to $3.199.

Meanwhile, Chrysler CEO Thomas LaSorda made news last week by issuing a forecast on U.S. gasoline prices saying the U.S. automaker expects gas prices to remain at $3-$4/gal. for the rest of this decade. The New York Times report also cited Ford's chief sales analyst, George Pipas, as agreeing with the projection though he didn't cite a price range.

Asked whether gas prices had peaked, LaSorda said he hoped so but added Chrysler's business model is based on gas prices remaining in the $3-$4/gal. range for the next 3-4 years.

Also this week, AP reported a trio of oil companies had tapped a petroleum pool four miles beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico and 175 miles off the coast of Louisiana. Led by Chevron, the find could boost U.S. reserves by more than half. Chevron estimates the new field could hold up to 15-billion barrels of oil and natural gas. The U.S. currently uses about 5.7 billion barrels of crude annually.
-- Joe Roybal