What is bad news for the energy industry is good news for consumers at the pumps, where prices in Hillsboro hovered around $1.25 a gallon Monday, a price last seen in the summer of 1982, according to the government website energy.gov.
Oil prices appeared to take another hit Monday due to global oil storage reaching capacity, and the worldwide pandemic lockdown that has caused an unprecedented lack of demand.
Investment banker Goldman Sachs said that global oil storage could be at capacity within the next three weeks, and economists say that could set the stage for another dramatic crash in oil futures similar to what happened on April 20, when prices closed in negative territory.
The Wall Street Journal reported that West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the nation’s benchmark, saw its June futures price drop 17 percent to $14.08 a barrel, while the international benchmark, Brent Crude, saw futures nosedive nearly 5 percent to $23.66 a barrel.
On Friday, April 24, WTI crude oil was $16.94 a barrel.
An inflation-adjusted chart on the website Macrotrends.com showed that the price of crude oil hasn’t been at this level since the nation emerged from World War II and slipped into a short, post-war recession.
In February 1946, its chart showed an oil price of what would today be $16.68 per barrel.
Comparable drops in crude oil can be seen of $20.79 in July 1973, three months before the Arab-Israeli Yom Kippur War and the later Arab oil embargo triggered a mid-1970s recession, and in November 1998 when oil dropped to $17.66 and lower, due to squabbling among the Arab oil producing countries and a surging U.S. dollar.
By contrast, its chart showed oil reached its apex of $165.20 a barrel in June 2008, with gas prices in southern Ohio topping out at $4.15 a gallon or more in some locations.
The northern Ohio communities of Niles and Warren competed for the honor of Ohio’s lowest gas prices, according to Gasbuddy.com, with the GetGo in Niles and Sams Club in Warren both at 95 cents a gallon.
Locally, gas prices had a nearly 40-cent a gallon range, from a low $1.09 in Chillicothe to a high of $1.45 at the U.S. 35/I-71 interchange at Jeffersonville.
In Hillsboro, prices ranged from a low of $1.25 a gallon to as high as $1.31, while in Greenfield they were in the $1.20 to $1.24 margin.
The website reported gas prices in Chillicothe were from $1.09 to $1.18 a gallon, with only two pennies separating the low and high prices per gallon in Washington Court House at between $1.17 and $1.19.
Wilmington, Mt. Orab and Jeffersonville by far had the highest prices in the region, with Gasbuddy reporting pump prices of between $1.24 and $1.31 a gallon in Wilmington, and Mt. Orab’s proximity to SR 32) triggering prices of $1.39 a gallon.
Being close to a major interstate highway spiked gas prices at both Jeffersonville exits of I-71, with pump prices there of between $1.39 and $1.45 a gallon.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.