CHICAGO (CBS) — Drivers preparing to hit the road for the holidays were being greeted with a lovely Christmas gift this week: gas prices hovering at a five-year low.
“It’s a nice Christmas present for most of America,” said Phil Flynn, senior energy analyst at The PRICE Futures Group.READ MORE: 2 Killed Including 7-Year-Old Girl, 22 Wounded In Weekend Shootings Across Chicago
The Lundberg Survey found gas prices have plunged 25 cents per gallon nationwide over the past couple weeks, with prices under $2.50 a gallon at many Chicago gas stations.
Gasbuddy.com showed the national average at $2.37. In the Chicago area, the average price of regular unleaded was at $2.53 and falling on Monday.
Flynn said the plunging prices at the pump have been the result of sinking prices for crude oil.READ MORE: 4 People Injured In 3 Separate Shootings Within Blocks In Humboldt Park Neighborhood
“OPEC is trying to drive down energy prices by trying to increase production in a global economy, and over-producing more oil than there is demand; trying to flood the market with oil, driving down these prices,” he said.
Flynn said that’s the result of a price war being waged between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) – especially Saudi Arabia – against American energy producers.
“This is about market share. This is about power. This is really a struggle for control of the global oil market,” he said.MORE NEWS: 7-Year-Old Girl Killed, Father Injured In Shooting At McDonald's Drive-Thru In Lawndale
Gas prices in the Chicago area ranged from a low of about $2 per gallon to nearly $4 per gallon at one station in the city.