As gas prices fall to 99 cents in some places; Oregon remains among most expensive in nation

Oregon’s falling gas prices remain about 70 cents above the national average as some places around the country could soon see a gallon of regular fall below $1.

Oregon’s $2.76/gallon is the fourth-highest in the nation behind only Washington, California and Hawaii. The national average is $2.06, according to AAA; nearly 60 cents less than this time last year.

Pump prices in Bend average $2.75/gallon, down 8 cents from last week although you can find it some places for as low as $2.19, according to Gasbuddy.com

“Normally this is time we see pump prices move up with spring break, nicer weather but that’s obviously not the case now with the coronavirus,” said Marie Dodds, an Oregon AAA spokeswoman.

As Americans are urged to stay at home and practice social distancing to slow the spread of the disease, fewer people are on the road, which is driving down demand, increasing supply and pushing pump prices down.

Dodds said drivers are also benefitting from a crude oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia, which has pushed barrel prices down to an 18-year low.

Could we see prices below $2 here locally?

“I think for us to drop another 75 cents is less likely than more likely,” Dodds said, reminding us Oregon typically has some of the most expensive gas in the country for a variety of reasons.

  • The West Coast is geographically isolated from parts of the country with drilling and refining operations
  • Environmental policies and programs add to the cost of fuel
  • The West Coast tends to produce about as much gasoline as is consumed, so when there’s a supply disruption, such as a refinery outage, prices here climb in a hurry.

Motorists do not need to rush to the pumps to fill-up. Currently, there is ample U.S. gasoline supply and no disruption to distribution at gas stations.

The cheapest gas in the country can be found in Oklahoma where the current average is about $1.65/gallon, but Gasbuddy.com’s oil and refined products analyst Patrick De Haan reported four stations there charging just 99 cents/gallon.

De Haan said Wednesday the national average could dip below $2/gallon for the first time since 2016.

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