CHICAGO (CBS) — Gas prices have been steadily declining in Chicago for the past few weeks, reaching the lowest levels seen in years, and one industry expert said the bottom will continue to drop.

While there might be a spike in gas prices here or there, GasBuddy.com petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan said the trend is for lower prices in the Chicago area thanks in large part to a high inventory of gasoline being pumped out by Great Lakes refineries.

“Looking at the last 11 years, we are now approaching territory that we’ve only spent one or two weeks in back in the recession, so to see prices in Chicago at the pump this low is very rare,” DeHaan said.

Some gas stations in the suburbs have prices as low as $1.45 per gallon, and prices in the city have hit as low as $1.59 a gallon.

“Chicago is looking at an average today of $1.84 a gallon. We could see it sail into the $1.70s, maybe the $1.60s,” DeHaan said.

He said that possibly could happen when gas stations start trying to get rid of the current winter mix of gasoline to make way for the summer blend they are required to sell in Chicago and other major cities starting in the spring.

DeHaan wouldn’t be surprised to see some isolated gas stations on the outer fringe of the Chicago metropolitan area charging as little as $1.29 per gallon at some point in the weeks or months ahead.

Right now, the 100 gas stations with the lowest prices in the U.S. are located in six states, including Illinois, which has 14 of those stations.

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