The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in the Inland Empire dropped to its lowest amount since Jan. 15 Friday, falling a half-cent to $3.674.

   The average price in Riverside and San Bernardino counties has fallen 43 of the past 44 days and is 5.1 cents less than one week ago, 23.1 cents lower than one month ago and 38.6 cents below what it was one year ago, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

   ``Wholesale prices in Los Angeles had dropped earlier this week to levels below the previous low point on Jan. 1, but they jumped about 10 cent Wednesday on news of a small outage in a Torrance refinery,'' Jeffrey Spring of  the Automobile Club of Southern California said.

   ``It remains to be seen if this is a minor issue, but at at the moment there is still room for retail prices to drop further.''