Retail gasoline prices have dipped below $2 per gallon across the United States. But gas might drop below $1 per gallon soon in some places of the country.
Aside from the financial crisis, when gasoline prices dropped below $2 per gallon for just a few months, retail gasoline prices have not been below $2 since 2004. Gas prices are at their lowest levels in many years.
But things could soon get even crazier. GasBuddy says that gasoline supplies are rising in the Midwest, which could result in localized gluts for product, pushing prices down to $1 per gallon or even lower. With access to heavily discounted Canadian crude, Midwest refiners are churning out cheaper and cheaper gasoline. “That could trigger fire sales—very quick and low price sales,” Patrick DeHaan of GasBuddy told the WSJ. There is a “strong possibility” that refiners, trying to offload excess winter fuel blends, could discount prices down to 99 cents per gallon for a brief period of time. Related: Computerized Trading Creating Oil Price Volatility
Oklahoma appears to be enjoying the cheapest gasoline in the country. According to GasBuddy’s website, the cheapest gas right now can be found in Oklahoma City, where one station was selling gas for $1.09 per gallon on February 9. A 7-Eleven in Norman, OK sold gas for $1.10 per gallon on the same day.
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Nationwide, retail gasoline sold for $1.87 for the week ending on February 8. For now, sub-$1 gasoline is unlikely outside of some local areas, such as Oklahoma and the Midwest. But if oil prices drop to $20 per barrel, which is something that Goldman Sachs is not ruling out, $1 gasoline could become a lot more common.
By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
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