Pump prices for gas continue to decline, with Philadelphia and its four surrounding counties paying an average $2.76 today, down 3 cents from a week ago, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.

South Jersey's average for a gallon of regular no-lead also declined by 3 cents in the last week, to $2.53.

The national average today is $2.70, down 2 cents from last Monday.

And according to the auto club, that $2.70 average was the high for gas in 2009. Gas prices are down 23 cents since their 2010 high of $2.93 a gallon, on May 6.

On the other hand, price are way off their record of $4.11, which was established July 17, 2008.

"We may wobble down another nickel or up a nickel, but what you see now on the street probably will be close to what you pay for July 4th weekend," said Tom Kloza of OPIS (the Oil Price Information Service).

Kloza expects that prices likely will climb beginning in July as hurricane season starts in earnest and as new investments are made in crude for the third quarter. Investors worry that hurricanes can damage crude and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico and refineries along the Gulf coast. Shutdowns can send prices higher.

Diesel prices also were down: by 3 cents, to $3.14, in the Philadelphia area; by 2 cents, to $2.79, in South Jersey, and by 3 cents, to $2.96, at the national level.

Motorists have benefited as oil prices fell since reaching an 18-month-high of $87.15 a barrel in early May. Worries over the European debt crisis, a big drop in stock prices and a stronger dollar helped push oil below $70.

In other Nymex trading in July contracts, heating oil rose 4.31 cents to $2.0484 a gallon, and gasoline gained 4.54 cents to $2.0951 a gallon. Natural gas jumped 19.5 cents to $4.976 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Brent crude gained $1.53 at $75.58 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange.