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AAA Automotive

Gas Update: Pump Prices Push Cheaper

Despite OPEC+ announcement, prices continue free fall.

DENVER (April 15, 2020) – The national gas price average has continued its precipitous decline into another week as it hits $1.85 today. In Colorado, the statewide average for a gallon of regular unleaded sits at $1.82 – down 84 cents from this time last year. Since late February, U.S. demand for gasoline has decreased 44 percent to 5 million barrels per day, with gasoline inventories building across the country.

"The bottom line is that we're living through the lowest domestic demand for gasoline since 1968," said AAA Colorado spokesman Skyler McKinley. "That means cheap gas prices now – and further declines for the foreseeable future."

Production cuts not moving the needle

On Sunday, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other allied producers (OPEC+) announced historic global crude oil production cuts – nearly 10 million barrels per day, or about 10 percent of global production, in May and June. The cuts will do little to stabilize the volatile oil market in the near term, given the unprecedented impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on demand. At the end of Tuesday's formal trading session, West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) closed at $20.81 per barrel after hitting a daily low of $19.95 per barrel. That's down from more than $50 per barrel in mid-February.

"Even historic production cuts can't keep up with tumbling demand, at least in the immediate future." McKinley said. "Until the COVID-19 challenge eases and demand begins to rise, it's highly likely that the oil market will remain considerably oversupplied and both crude and gasoline prices will remain low."

Regional reserves rise to record highs

Gasoline stocks in the Rockies continue to increase as a result of reduced demand, and they now sit at 9.4 million barrels – one of the highest measures on record. Regional refinery utilization has sunk to an abnormally low 71 percent. While gas prices will continue to push cheaper, this low utilization rate will likely slow the rate at which they're decreasing.

Colorado Gas By the Numbers

Greeley
Current Average: $1.70
Yesterday Average: $1.71
Week Ago Average: $1.79
Month Ago Average: $2.10
Year Ago Average: $2.67

Denver
Current Average: $1.73
Yesterday Average: $1.74
Week Ago Average: $1.80
Month Ago Average: $2.12
Year Ago Average: $2.61

Grand Junction
Current Average: $1.77
Yesterday Average: $1.77
Week Ago Average: $1.83
Month Ago Average: $2.19
Year Ago Average: $2.76

Colorado Springs
Current Average: $1.77
Yesterday Average: $1.78
Week Ago Average: $1.85
Month Ago Average: $2.11
Year Ago Average: $2.63

Boulder - Longmont
Current Average: $1.79
Yesterday Average: $1.81
Week Ago Average: $1.87
Month Ago Average: $2.17
Year Ago Average: $2.62

Vail
Current Average: $1.83
Yesterday Average: $1.83
Week Ago Average: $1.94
Month Ago Average: $2.62
Year Ago Average: $3.01

Pueblo
Current Average: $1.93
Yesterday Average: $1.94
Week Ago Average: $2.12
Month Ago Average: $2.26
Year Ago Average: $2.71

Fort Collins - Loveland
Current Average: $1.94
Yesterday Average: $1.94
Week Ago Average: $2.01
Month Ago Average: $2.25
Year Ago Average: $2.63

Glenwood Springs
Current Average: $2.04
Yesterday Average: $2.02
Week Ago Average: $2.25
Month Ago Average: $2.48
Year Ago Average: $2.88

Durango
Current Average: $2.20
Yesterday Average: $2.23
Week Ago Average: $2.36
Month Ago Average: $2.39
Year Ago Average: $2.73

KRDO.com Staff