(CBS) — Drivers are enjoying some of the lowest prices at the pump in years, but as CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports it comes at a price.
Remember when gas near two dollars a gallon was a bargain? Not now, with some stations selling it for less than $1.50 per gallon and consumers love it.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Spotty Showers Sunday Night, Monday
“Last week Illinois had 14 stations on the cheapest 100 in the country,” said GasBuddy analyst Patrick DeHaan. “That’s something that never happens.”
Analysts like DeHaan say in spite of high supplies, oil companies and refineries continue to churn out product, and that’s forcing gas prices down. The Cook County average price is $1.86 a gallon. Throughout the state of Illinois it’s an especially low $1.65 a gallon.
“There is a double edged sword and that’s that the oil industry is really hurting,” DeHaan said.
BP alone, with corporate offices in Naperville, said it lost $6.5 billion last year and announced 4,000 production jobs will be cut by year’s end. This as the price of crude oil closed below $30 a barrel again.READ MORE: Phase 2 Opens Monday In Illinois Outside Chicago For Anyone 16 And Over To Get COVID-19 Vaccine, But Teens Under 18 Face Challenge
At Testa Produce, lower gas prices now equal $35,000 a month in savings for their fleet of delivery trucks. That’s helping to pay worker’s rising health insurance premiums, but the cyclical nature of gas prices makes long term planning difficult.
“I am worried that it won’t it won’t be that long,” said Peter Testa. “It’s nice know but I think that this is not going to stay like this. I actually think it is going to change in the next six months.”
“I don’t think anybody has a real solid answer for when the rebound will be,” DeHaan said.
This was not a good day for oil companies. Exxon Mobil also announced a steep drop in quarterly profits.MORE NEWS: On One-Year Anniversary Of Botched Smokestack Demolition, Little Village Community Leaders Call For Jobs, Better Environmental Protection
As for gas prices in Chicago, they’ve fallen on average 40 cents in the last month. According to GasBuddy the lowest local price is in Romeoville, where gas at one station is selling at $1.33 a gallon.