Gasoline prices continued their decline in the Philadelphia region and nationally. The average cost of a gallon of regular gas fell by a penny overnight to $3.08 in southeastern Pennsylvania, AAA Mid-Atlantic said this morning.

The South Jersey price also fell by a cent to $2.85 a gallon, the auto club said.

The national average fell below $3.00 yesterday, to $2.99.

But crude oil prices rose today, ahead of a weekly report on U.S. inventories that is expected to show that crude oil and petroleum product stockpiles rose. An oil spill in the North Sea also may have rattled some nerves.

Light, sweet crude for January delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 80 cents to $90.82 a barrel in electronic trading by afternoon in Europe.

In London, January Brent crude rose 73 cents to $90.72 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.