Crude Oil Prices Are Down, Will Gas Prices Follow?

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – When oil prices go up, gas prices follow.

So, shouldn’t the opposite also be true?

Maybe not.

Thursday, crude oil closed at 99.80 a barrel, under 100 dollars for the first time since March.

Regular gas averages $3.99 a gallon.

Back on March 16, when oil was $98.95 a barrel of gas was only $3.55.

Drivers say it’s hard to see a glimmer of hope but experts believe the falling price of oil might eventually lead to a drop in steep gas prices.

“If the downward trend continues and if we get 2 consecutive weeks where we see the price of crude oil right at or below 100 dollars, then we could start to see a reduction in gasoline prices,” said Jessica Brady, AAA Spokesperson.

Tyler Schaefer hopes so. On Thursday night, he paid 63 dollars to fill up his car. But he’s skeptical about a price drop anytime soon.

“Every aspect of life is getting more expensive so for gas prices to go up it doesn’t seem that unreasonable but it is kinda painful,” Schaefer said.

Brady says it takes at least 3 days for a drop in oil prices to reach the pump and with all the turmoil in the oil market, that drop might not happen at all.

“I don’t want to get my hopes up too much that we’re seeing oil trade at 99 dollars a barrel because we could see tomorrow or Monday the price of oil go right back up,” Brady said.

Drivers feel powerless. They see the bottom line and know the rules of supply and demand. They believe if the price of crude oil goes down, gas prices should follow.

“Yeah, I think it should be reflected in the price,” said Ivy Jordan. “Do I think there’s anything I can do? No.”

AAA says one of the reasons gas prices are higher today than several months ago is speculation over lots of things — like the turmoil in the Middle East, the U.S. economy and the strength of the dollar.

Experts say if oil prices continue dropping for a week or two then we should see these numbers come down. At least until the summer driving season revs into high gear.

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