Colorado Springs-area gas prices tumbled again this week in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, and motorists can expect them to keep falling — perhaps by as much as 50 cents a gallon in the weeks ahead, one national expert says.
At midday Thursday, average prices hovered around $1.95 for a gallon of regular unleaded in Colorado Springs, according to GasBuddy.com, the online service that tracks daily prices nationwide.
Based on GasBuddy’s survey of 246 Springs-area gas outlets, local prices have dropped about 6.5 cents from last week, 32 cents from a month ago and almost 50 cents from last year at the same time.
While $1.95 per gallon is the average, prices at some service stations, convenience stores and other outlets around the Springs were even lower.
At the 7-Eleven at Academy Boulevard and Constitution Avenue, regular unleaded was selling for $1.71 a gallon, GasBuddy reported. The Everyday convenience store at North Circle and Alpine drives was at $1.73.
Prices were even cheaper for members of big-box wholesale clubs. Regular unleaded was selling for just $1.45 per gallon at the Sam’s Club at Academy and Woodmen Road. The same price could be found at the Costco Wholesale Club stores at Powers Boulevard and Barnes Road and at Nevada Avenue and Garden of the Gods Road.
But motorists should hold off filling up their tanks for now because gas costs will just continue to fall, said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis.
“If you don’t need it, you can still wait another week or two before we hit a bottom,” he said.
The coronavirus pandemic has led to severe travel reductions by American businesses, waves of job losses and stay-at-home orders in Colorado and several states, all of which have driven down the demand for oil and gas. And with cratering demand and ample supplies, prices have followed suit.
In fact, prices could drop another 25 to 50 cents per gallon over the next few weeks, DeHaan said. Gas at 99 cents a gallon is possible in a few locations, though not in Colorado, he said.
Prices traditionally begin to climb in the spring and summer when refineries switch to more expensive summer fuel blends.
But if prices reverse course at some point, costlier summer fuels won’t be the reason, DeHaan said.
“When this situation improves and Americans get back to their lives, prices will go back up because demand again will start to go back up,” he said.
“But the coronavirus has just decimated markets to the point that demand has fallen off a cliff and there’s really been no material impact due to the seasonal changes this year.”