Big surprise for 2014 — price at the pump. Since I don’t travel much, or very far, been nearly a month since I ‘fueled‘ my old Jeep Comanche, and this morning, another $20 worth of regular, now at $2.77 a gallon.
And why not: ‘The February futures contract for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude, the benchmark grade of U.S. light crude, closed Wednesday at $53.27 US a barrel, down 85 cents of 1.6 per cent on the day.’
(Illustration: An oil pump ‘horse,’ found here).
On Dec. 1, that self-same gas at my local Union 76 stood at $3.27 per gallon — a solid 50-cent dump in less than a month. Across the sea, and faraway, the price of oil fell today at it’s lowest level in five years: ‘U.S. crude closed with its second-largest annual decline on record. The biggest came in 2008, when prices collapsed in the wake of the financial crisis.’
Since June, nearly $50-a-barrel dive in oil prices, and springing from a so-called “surprise,” those low-ball numbers are supposed to extend into the new year.
And beyond my 50-cent savings at the gas pump, these low gas prices create a financial overflow of sorts, at least for whatever time the oil prices go back up — from NBC News:
Americans could pocket up to $75 billion in 2015 on gas, as long as prices remain low through the year, according to AAA’s final monthly gas price report for 2014.
The report, released Wednesday, said Americans had already stashed away $14 billion in savings on gas in 2014, with the bulk of the savings coming in the last few months of the year.
Those savings, which equaled about $115 per household versus 2013, already translated into higher consumer spending over the holidays.
“U.S. drivers ended the year on a high-note with gas prices plummeting over the last few months,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman. “Cheaper gas prices have helped to improve the economy by boosting both consumer confidence and disposable income.”
President Obama kept the fuel flowing in the mixer (via Reuters): ‘The Obama administration has opened a new front in the global battle for oil market share, effectively clearing the way for the shipment of as much as a million barrels per day of ultra-light U.S. crude to the rest of the world.’
End the old year with more oil, just what the new year needed.