By Alton Mitchell
The New Year has arrived and with the arrival of 2016 also comes a new nationwide low that has citizens smiling from all over the nation. National gas prices have fallen to their lowest levels in almost 15 years. Market analyst also have revealed that the prices is expected to drop to its lowest levels of this century before the end of the year.
The decline in national gas prices features Alabama as being among the front runners of the lowest prices in the nation. Over the past weekend it was reported that the lowest average price per gallon was $1.75 and Alabama was the location of the extremely low prices. Along with Alabama, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and South Carolina all share the same low average.
Chambers County residents are reaping the benefit of even lower fuel costs as the price per gallon has fallen to as low as $1.65 in the County. The lowest prices as of Monday night were reported in the Lanett area. The $1.65 price could be found at several stations along U.S. Highway 29. Closer to home in LaFayette prices still hoovered below the national average at around the $1.70 at most stations in the city.
Statewide fuel costs fluctuate greatly with some of the lowest costs in the nation being found in the metro Birmingham area where prices have fallen to below $1.50. Other communities around the region offer rates as low as $1.59.
The good news is that analyst who monitor gas prices expect that the average price per gallon will fall to around the $1 mark in many areas at some point this year. This would be the first time since 1999 that fuel prices that low have been seen anywhere in the nation. Several factors are leading to the lower prices of fuel and that includes the access to higher quantities by rich oil producing nations such as Saudi Arabia. This in addition to other factors have created an oversupply of oil driving the cost per barrel down to $33.
As of right now all market indicators are showing signs according to analyst that costs will stay low throughout the course of 2016 and ultimately allowing many locations including Alabama to see the $1 mark in the very near future. Over the course of last year’s fuel costs fluctuations Alabama still managed to keep its fuel costs among the top five states for the lowest rates in the nation and for much of 2015 Chambers County led the state and nation in low fuel costs.