“It’s a little unpredictable given the unpredictable outcomes in the weeks ahead,” he said.
DeHaan’s blog predicted the national average price of a gallon gas will continue to drop to about $1.49 because of the decrease in crude oil prices and storage issues A large supply and lesser demand with many motorists following stay-at-home orders are predicted to continue driving down prices.
On Tuesday, DeHaan said that gas prices will struggle in many states to reach $2 a gallon during the busy summer driving season. In addition, these price drops will hurt states, as cheaper gas means gas tax revenues may go down. He believes the COVID-19 pandemic could affect gas prices for another six to 12 months.
“Locally, the general public will see very low prices in the market,” said Stephen Hightower, president and CEO of Hightowers Petroleum in Middletown. “Prices will continue to go down and that will benefit the consumer.”
Hightowers Petroleum is a gasoline and diesel wholesaler that serves more than 200 clients such as General Motors, Nissan, Kroger, AK Steel, Fed Ex and AT&T.
He said when the storage tanks are full, there is no place to move the product off the ships, which costs an oil company “tens of thousands of dollars a day to keep on the ship.”
“It becomes cheaper to sell it at a loss rather than having product sitting on a ship,” he said.
He thinks there will be a boost in demand once sections of the economy begin to open across the nation.
“It will be an early indicator of the market,” Hightower said. “When the economy begins to move, it will begin with gas and diesel fuel.”
Kimberly Schwind, AAA Ohio spokeswoman, said once leisure travel is permitted, she thinks those will start as short drive trips within Ohio or the nearby region before fueling longer domestic trips this summer.
“This is uncharted territory,” she said. “We don’t know how low prices will go but we won’t see negative prices. It really depends on the situation and it also depends on how soon businesses and schools will open.”