With crude oil prices plummeting and the threat of the coronavirus looming over the world’s head, gas prices are lower than they’ve been in years.
According to the American Automobile Association, crude oil prices have dropped to $22 per barrel, the lowest price since 2002. They also report that crude oil accounts for nearly 60% of the retail pump price, which means that as oil prices lower, the average motorist saves more money.
“With Americans urged to stay at home and practice social distancing to slow the spread of coronavirus, we are seeing less traffic on the roadways, which will ultimately drive down demand, increase gasoline supply and push pump prices less expensive for the foreseeable future,” said Jeanette Casselano of AAA.
Despite Greenwood Mayor Carolyn McAdams’ decision on Monday to limit gatherings of 10 or more people and her and the Leflore County supervisors’ recommendation to stay home, people are still taking advantage of cheap gas.
Christine Taylor, a store manager for The Landing Convenience Store and Fueling Center on U.S. 82, said she’s seen an increase in customers coming in for gas with the lower prices.
The Landing also has attendants helping pump people’s gas from 6 to 10 a.m. and 4 to 6:30 p.m. at pumps six through 10 during weekdays.
“We will prioritize this service for our elderly and immune-compromised customers and serve all other customers as we can,” read the gas station’s Facebook page.
According to AAA, as of Thursday, the state average price for regular fuel was $1.78 a gallon. This is 60 cents less than the state average a year ago.
Leflore County’s average gas price was $1.76 as of Thursday. Carroll County’s was $1.62, and Grenada County’s was $1.53.
On Thursday in Greenwood, most gas stations were sitting at $1.62 per gallon of regular fuel.
The national average of gas prices is currently $2.06, which is the lowest it’s been since December 2016 when prices averaged out to $2.20 nationally.
AAA tells drivers that they do not need to rush to the pumps to get gas. There is currently an ample supply in the United States and no disruption to distribution at gas stations.
Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at Oil Price Information Service, tweeted a prediction last Saturday that by May, the average national gas price will ultimately drop to anywhere between $1.25 and $1.50.
“I suspect by May, we’ll be collectively paying about $350 million per day for motor fuel — about a third of what we paid last year,” he added.
•Contact Kerrigan Herret at 581-7233 or firstname.lastname@example.org.