PORTLAND National gas price averages stabilized near $1.45 a gallon during the holidays, according to AAA daily fuel gauge analysts.

Oregon/Idaho AAA Public Affairs Director Elliott Eki said high demand during the holiday season helped to stabilize prices.

The encouraging news, said Eki, Is that Oregons average is inching closer to the national average, most significantly in the mid-Willamette Valley region.

Todays statewide average is $1.6372, still fifth highest in the country, but down nine cents from a month ago.

Holiday travelers should be a little happier as they pull up to the fuel pump this weekend.

Oregons average price dropped by more than three and a half cents a gallon in the past week alone.

As of Dec. 28, the national average for regular unleaded was $1.4437 a gallon. A month earlier, it was $1.5377. A year ago, it was $1.3016.

Hawaii had the highest average prices in the nation at $2.0283 a gallon. The lowest average price was $1.2471 in Oklahoma.

At the same time, Oregon averaged $1.6372 a gallon. The average was $1.6733 in Portland, $1.5330 in Salem, and $1.5390 in Eugene.

The AAAs Daily Fuel Gauge Report is based on a survey of 60,000 gas stations.

A Pilot staffer noted that the lowest prices for regular unleaded on Dec. 23 were $1.76 in Brookings, $1.69 in Gold Beach, $1.61 in Port Orford, $1.54 in Coos Bay, and $1.39 in Eugene.