STATEWIDE–You could soon be seeing gas stations in Indiana selling gas for less than a dollar per gallon because of the coronavirus.
On March 23, Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said there was a 45% chance Indiana could have a gas station selling it for 99 cents or cheaper.
“Boy, I think it may have jumped up to 50 or 55% now,” says DeHaan.
President Trump’s expansion of social distancing guidelines until April 30 means gasoline demand will continue to be on the decline.
“Oil prices got hit on that news. They are down to around $20 per barrel, which is the lowest it’s been since the 2000s. By all metrics, this continues to look prolonged in terms of the supply and demand mismatch. That’s going to continue putting downward pressure on gas prices. I think it’s just a matter of time before we start seeing more 99 cent prices show up,” says DeHaan.
GasBuddy says the statewide average for gas is $1.71 per gallon. That’s down 15 cents from where it was this time last week. In Indianapolis, it’s $1.67. The average is $1.66 in Fort Wayne and $1.59 in Evansville.
If the country is able to return to normal after April 30, DeHaan says prices could go back up again, but that all depends on when people can get back to work.
“If everyone returns to work around the same time and starts filling their tank as normal, then we’ll start to see an increase in prices,” DeHaan says.
In the meantime, he says there are extra precautions you should be taking at the gas pump.
“Keep in mind those pumps are visited by potentially dozens of people every day and they could be a hotspot for germs. Take whatever you have, whether it’s hand sanitizer or wipes and wipe down the buttons and the gas handle. Use hand sanitizer after you pump your gas. Think of it as glitter and there is glitter all over the pump. You don’t want to come away with any of it,” says DeHaan.
DeHaan says if you can wait to fill up your gas tank, then wait. He says prices will continue to decline.