Gas prices plummet amid OPEC feud, COVID-19 — and the cheaper fuel will likely last months, AAA says

Motorists are benefiting at the gas pump in the midst of an OPEC disagreement and growing concerns over the novel coronavirus. The automotive organization AAA reports that the national gas price average is “cheaper on the week (-5 cents), month (-5 cents) and year (-9 cents),” with the national average itself at $2.38 per gallon. 

The least expensive average gas price in the United States is Texas’ of $2.06, according to AAA, with the largest weekly average decrease experienced by Indiana with -$0.12.

“For the third week, U.S. gasoline stocks decreased while demand increased,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Generally, growing demand amid declining stocks causes increases at the pump, but crude oil prices have dipped to four-year lows, signaling spring could be cheaper at the pump.” 

AAA noted that the decreased prices are likely to continue through the winter.

OPEC is an acronym for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which is a group of different nations whom engage in the export of oil across the world. Countries who are part of OPEC seek to conduct business activities and set petroleum prices that are beneficial to one another. For countries that aren’t part of OPEC, disagreements with those member nations over oil prices and production can have real world ramifications, such as this drop in oil prices. 

These disagreements are made more complicated by the novel coronavirus, which is currently impacting global markets, travel and even workplace trends. For example, the Dow Jones plummeted as much as 2,000 points as of March 9, further fueling the drop of oil prices. 

Similarly, as fewer individuals travel both by car and by plane due to COVID-19, demand for oil is expected to drop, along with prices.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.