Increasing gas prices could stabilize soon

Published 8:29 pm Monday, February 9, 2009


Gas prices have been on a steady incline lately, but they could be stabilizing soon.

Alabama AAA spokesman Clay Ingram said a low demand for oil has caused the price spike.

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“It’s very unusual that when we have low crude oil prices and our overall demand is low, that our price would be higher. Typically, low demand and low crude oil prices equate to very low pump prices, but this time, the low demand has caused refineries to scale back their oil production,” Ingram said. “The price has spiked, because there is less oil available.”

Ingram said that the companies are making a smart business decision, but it has a negative effect on the average motorist.

“This is bad for the average motorist because we are paying more per gallon than we were a few weeks ago,” Ingram said.

Overall, Ingram said he is optimistic oil prices will not continue to follow this trend.

“A year ago today gas was $2.88 a gallon. Comparatively, we are in a much better situation now than we have been in the past,” Ingram said.

The average gas price in Troy is $1.87 a gallon. Six months ago the price per gallon was $3.67, and a year ago gas averaged at $2.81 per gallon.

Ingram predicts that oil prices will not go up drastically, even in the summer.

“This year, I don’t expect that our demand will take these sharp spikes. With the current economy, and with the price of crude oil being so low, I don’t foresee that we will have any sharp jumps,” Ingram said. “I feel like price increases will be much more conservative this year.”

Despite the rise in prices, some residents, like Jennifer Thrash, don’t seem to mind paying a little more for their gas.

“It’s better than what it has been. These prices have been a relief compared to when the price was between $3 and $4. If the price goes back up, I’ll just have to drive less,” Thrash said.

Others though, are less optimistic about the future of gas prices.

Sally Allen, of Troy, said while the gas prices have been wonderful, she believes they will continue to climb.

“Gas prices were wonderful, but now they are going up. It’s only a matter of time before they get bad again. I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop.”