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Apr-14-2020 20:50printcomments

U.S. Gasoline Demand Plunges to 52-year Low

The Oregon average is 75 cents less than a year ago.

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Reminder: Oregonians can temporarily pump their own gas through April 25 (due to Coronavirus).

(SALEM, Ore.) - Gasoline demand in the U.S. is plummeting to levels not seen since the spring of 1968.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, every region in the country is seeing gasoline and crude oil inventories increasing which is driving down pump prices even more.

For the week, the national average for regular unleaded falls seven cents to $1.85 a gallon. The Oregon average tumbles eight cents to $2.54.

The latest report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows gasoline demand across the country has plunged 44 percent to 5 million barrels a day—a level last seen in the spring of 1968. A year ago, demand was about 9.5 million b/d.

On Sunday, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries plus (OPEC+), led by Saudi Arabia, announced historic global crude productions cuts – nearly 10 million b/d in May and June.

“This is a major production cut and in normal times, it would send crude oil and fuel prices higher.

"However, with the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s not likely to have an immediate impact on pump prices,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho.

Pump prices are lower this week in all 50 states including Oregon and the District of Columbia. Alaska (-20 cents) and Idaho (-16 cents) have the largest weekly drops while Delaware (-3 cents) has the smallest.

Hawaii remains the only state in the nation with an average at or above $3 a gallon.

The cheapest gas in the nation can be found in Wisconsin ($1.29) and Oklahoma ($1.40). This is the fifth week in a row that one or more states has an average below $2 a gallon. In all, 37 states are below that benchmark up from 33 states a week ago. Oregon is one of all 50 states and the District of Columbia with lower prices now than a month ago.

The national average is 43 cents less and the Oregon average is 39 cents less than a month ago. Wisconsin (-82 cents) has the largest month-over-month decline. New York (-26 cents) has the smallest.

Oregon is one of 50 states and the District of Columbia where drivers are paying less than a year ago.

The national average is 98 cents less and the Oregon average is 75 cents less than a year ago. Wisconsin (-$1.51) has the largest year-over-year drop. Hawaii (-31 cents) has the smallest.

A reminder that Oregonians can temporarily pump their own gas due to the coronavirus outbreak and this has been extended through April 25.

Stations aren’t required to offer self-serve gas, but it is allowed in order to reduce contact that could spread COVID-19, and ensure essential workers have access to fuel during potential staffing shortages at gas stations.

Source: AAA Oregon

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