Gas Prices Keep Dropping as Coronavirus Brings Low Demand for Fuel
Gas prices are the cheapest they have been in more than four years, but most of the country is staying home in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Patrick DeHaan is the head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy and he provided KGVO with the current numbers.
“Average gas prices in Missoula have dropped to $1.88 per gallon,” DeHaan said. “That is a good seven cent decline in the last week. The statewide average is at $1.89 per gallon, down from $1.92 a week ago. The national average is down to about $1.82 per gallon. That is a good eight cent decline from last week and it is also a new low. We are staring at the lowest national average we have seen since March 2016.”
DeHaan explained why gas prices are so low right now.
“Of course, a lot of this is due to the fact that millions of Americans are staying at home,” DeHaan said. “Shelter in place orders have reduced gasoline demand to some of the lowest levels since the 1960’s. We are seeing a tremendous drop in gasoline demand, one that we have never seen before, and that is creating a surplus in gasoline that is pushing prices lower.”
On Sunday, OPEC, Russia and other oil-producing nations finalized an unprecedented production cut of nearly 10 million barrels in hopes of boosting crashing prices.
“So far, that has failed to rally oil prices,” DeHaan said. “In fact, oil prices today are down close to seven percent to $21 per barrel. For now, there will be no gas price spike as a result of that production cut deal from OPEC.”
DeHaan said there is even more room for decline and he believes prices will continue to drop over the coming weeks.