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99-cent gasoline foreseen as a definite possibility

By JACK WEATHERLY

Ninety-nine cents for a gallon of gasoline?

When was that?

Back in the ’60s?

How about later this year?

 “I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a collapse in prices, even including the Great Recession. What we’re witnessing is easily going to go down as the great collapse in oil demand,” said Patrick DeHaan, head petroleum analyst for Gas Buddy.

“Motorists hurrying to fill up today [are] wasting their money as prices will continue to drop in the days ahead,” DeHaan said in a release.

This time, there is no recession, though some prognosticators foresee one one brought on by the corona virus pandemic that has slowed the national and global economies dramatically.

Unfortunately, places to go to have been severely restricted as restaurants, hotels and other gathering spots, along with commercial air travel, have been either totally shut down or curtailed to slow the spread of the highly contagious and deadly disease.

World oil prices have fallen precipitously, and so prices for gasoline, an oil derivative, have prices naturally followed.

“Gas prices have spent virtually all of March marching lower, with the drop continuing as the corona virus destroys oil demand globally, leading to the lowest oil prices we’ve seen in 18 years, paving the way for still an additional 35-75 cent per gallon drop at most stations in the weeks ahead,” said DeHaan.

“Gas stations are passing along the drop several weeks behind, and there’s plenty more room for prices to drop, putting 99 cents per gallon prices as a strong possibility for perhaps many more stations than we previously anticipated. This is truly an unprecedented turn of events.”

Jackson prices have fallen 12.5 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $1.80 for a gallon of regular on Monday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 273 stations. 

Prices in Jackson are 26.1 cents per gallon of regular lower than a month ago and stand 56 cents per gallon lower than a year ago, according to GasBuddy.

The cheapest station in Jackson was priced at $1.55 on Monday, while the most expensive was $2.09. The lowest price in the state was $1.14 while the highest was  $2.39.

The national average price of gasoline has fallen 12.8 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $2.08 Monday. The national average is down 38.5 cents per gallon from a month ago and stands 54.7 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.

Neighboring areas and their prices: Baton Rouge, $1.83, down 9.3 cents per gallon from last week; Louisiana, $1.89, down 8.8 cents per gallon from last week’s $1.98. 

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About Jack Weatherly