UPDATED 06/27/11 7:20 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — After months of sticker shock and pain at the pump, drivers are finally getting a little relief.

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As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, gas prices are tumbling almost as far as they shot up in the first place. AAA reports prices have dropped 12 cents across Chicago just in the last week.

At the BP station at 5015 Touhy Ave. in Skokie, the price for a gallon of regular unleaded as $4.03 Monday morning. But next door at the Mobil station, at 5035 Touhy Ave., the price had dropped to $3.93 – albeit only with a car wash.

But those stations are both near the Edens Expressway, and would be expected to have higher prices than average. The average price Monday was actually only a cent more, at $3.94 per gallon.

A week ago, a gallon of regular unleaded was $4.06. A month ago, it was $4.23.

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But the falling prices do not compare to a year ago, when the average price was $3.

Part of the reason for the drop, analysts say, is because of the announcement Thursday that 60 million barrels of crude from emergency stockpiles would be released and sold in the next month.

Motorists were relieved at the development.

“I’m a little bit shocked. I went from putting in $100 a week to $60 now,” said Oscar Ortega of Chicago. “More money to save.”

Prices could continue to drop. Nationally, the average price of a gallon of regular gas was $3.57 Monday morning.

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The lowest price found in the Chicago area Monday morning was at the Costco at 830 E. Boughton Rd. in Bolingbrook, where it stood at $3.69. The highest was $4.59, at the BP station at 755 W. Lawrence Ave. just west of Lake Shore Drive, according to ChicagoGasPrices.com.