For the first time in a long time, gas prices have dropped below $2 in Belleville.
A steady flow of commuters filled up their tanks Friday morning on West Main Street in Belleville, where at least three filling stations were selling gas at $1.99 per gallon. The average price of gas in the St. Louis area is about 25 cents less than it was this time last year, according to AAA-Missouri.
The price of gas at the Phillips 66 stopped Willie D. Brown.
“I was just going to Belleville, and I almost a wrecked seeing that gas was $1.99,” Brown said. “I thought I saw something crazy.”
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Brown said he “didn’t really need gas” Friday, but couldn’t pass up on the price. He planned to come to the station later in the day to fill up his car. He topped off the church van Friday morning.
Gas has been fluctuating for weeks, trending downward in some areas, and holding steady in others. At stations near Southwestern Illinois College in east Belleville, prices are at around $2.05 per gallon, while only a few miles away, on the south end of town, prices are holding steady at around $2.35 per gallon. This inconsistency can be seen throughout the metro-east as mini “gas wars” bubble up in some areas. Generally, gasoline will be more expensive along the interstates — but not always.
Mike Right, vice president public affairs for AAA Missouri, said wholesale gas price dropped in recent weeks, allowing gas station owners to drop the price consumers.
The lower price likely won’t last long, Right said. Wholesale prices already are seeing an increase. Crude oil prices also are expected to go up soon, Right said Friday.
OPEC, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, and it allies agreed to cut crude oil production by 1. 2 million barrels per day, according to CNBC.com. That also will push prices higher.
A record number of motorists will travel during the holiday season, according to AAA projections.