The ever-falling market…..oil market, that is

Back in June during our first trip up to Minnesota of the summer, we were faced with gas prices that were $3.99/gallon on average. I remember getting a “deal” on fuel on the way up in Champaign, Illinois for $3.89 at a Wal*Mart. On the flip side, we paid $4.09/gallon in Ashland, Wisconsin.  

At that time, panic was everywhere. Everyone said the prices were here to stay and the last of the cheap crude oil was near and we’d all be riding bicycles to work. Some “experts” were saying the cost of oil would reach $200+ a barrel and we’d be paying more than $7/gallon for gas. I read what a small segment of economists were saying that what was happening was nothing more than a market bubble. The economic fundamentals showed the market could not support the ever-increasing crude oil prices, they said, which peaked in July at nearly $150/barrel. They gave examples of Japan’s Nikkei Index in the late 1980’s, the “dot com” tech stocks, and the housing market bubbles and how the trends in the price of crude oil mirrored the increases in those particular economic bubbles, which all eventually burst. What they said made sense to me, and from that point it wasn’t long before the price of crude started to fall. Now, just 3 months later, crude oil ended today at $62.73/barrel, well over half of what it was in July. Demand has fallen and OPEC has even cut production. Due to consumers adjusting their driving habits, the market has taken care of the price of oil, just as it’s supposed to.

Most folks said we’d never see gas below $3/gallon ever again. Sunday afternoon we took Jennifer’s mom out to eat for a belated birthday dinner and thought we caught a deal at $2.25/gallon. The very next day, gas at that station was at $2.19, and today it was at $2.14 across the street.

We made a quick trip on the way home tonight (we’ve been carpooling for the past 4 months) out to Brownsburg where we found gas at this Speedway station on State Road 267 selling for:

Not to be outdone, the BP across the street beat ’em:

I had just filled up the night before and only had 50-some miles on the tank, but I refilled anyway….and it only cost $4 to do it. Ahhh, how it brings back memories of when I could fill up a bone dry tank for less than $15. Hopefully everyone will continue to exhibit the same driving habits that brought the prices back down. Makes those fall foliage cruises a lot easier to pay for!

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