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Average gas price drops below $2 in Bellingham

Oil prices have plummeted over the last year, a result of high global supplies and weaker demand than expected. U.S. drivers are paying less than $2 a gallon on average for the first time since the Great Recession.
Oil prices have plummeted over the last year, a result of high global supplies and weaker demand than expected. U.S. drivers are paying less than $2 a gallon on average for the first time since the Great Recession. AP

Local gas prices are now at levels last seen more than seven years ago.

The average price for a gallon of gas was $1.995 in the Bellingham metro area on Friday, Feb. 5, according to AAA Washington’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report. The last time the average price was below $2 a gallon was in January 2009, said Jennifer Cook of AAA Washington.

While the Bellingham average was at $1.99, several local gas stations were offering much lower prices. Costco was offering $1.72 a gallon, while Safeway and Fred Meyer were at $1.75.

Cook said we are nearing the time of year when gas prices start rising as refineries slow down production to switch from winter fuel blends to summer fuel blends and perform maintenance. It might be different this year.

“Supplies are strong and we haven’t seen crude (oil) this low this time of year since January 2009. Prices are likely to flatten out and start to edge up as we head into the summer driving season, but crude prices will likely be the determinant of how significant or, more likely, insignificant the increase in prices at the pump will be this year,” Cook said.

Among major Washington metro areas, Richland had the lowest average price at $1.896 a gallon, while Seattle had the highest at $2.25.

Check GasBuddy.com’s survey of low gas prices in your neighborhood at bellinghamherald.com/gas-prices.

Dave Gallagher: 360-715-2269, @BhamHeraldBiz

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