PORTLAND, Maine — The statewide average price for a gallon of regular gasoline dipped 6 cents in the past week, down 47 cents from one year ago, to $1.79.

Plunging pump prices derive from a combination of high crude oil inventories and continuing low crude oil prices, driving the national average down to $1.69 per gallon, according to the price tracking site GasBuddy.com.

Maine’s price fell faster than the national average in the past week. The national average declined by about 4 cents.

The lowest price reported in the state Monday was $1.61 per gallon, and the highest was $2.29. GasBuddy pricing data shows 45 of 50 states have average gas prices below $2 per gallon.

New Hampshire had a lower average, at $1.71 per gallon, and Vermont had a higher average, at $1.90.

Jeff Pelton, a petroleum analyst with GasBuddy, said that the continuing lows will start to turn around in the spring, as some refineries indicated looming production cuts and a changeover to more costly summer blends that have lower emissions.

A Delaware refinery shut down in the late January blizzard and expected to deal with lingering effects of the closure for weeks.

“The sooner the refineries can complete their maintenance and start producing gasoline again the better for drivers everywhere,” Pelton said in a news release.

Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.