As stock markets took a hit and world oil prices plummeted Monday over global concerns about COVID-19, things weren’t looking quite as gloomy for Winnipeg drivers.
The sharp drop in world oil prices led to a drop of prices at pumps around the city.
“It’s below a dollar a litre and prices will only continue to drop from here on out until something happens, until we know what’s going to happen,” said Allison Mac, a petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.
“We’re heading into spring, we’re heading into summer, prices tend to go back up. But since mid-February … we’ve been seeing oil prices continue to drop.”
Mac said gas prices had fallen at Winnipeg pumps Monday by an average of 5 cents a litre over the same time last week, and as of Monday afternoon the cheapest posted price sat at 89.9 cents a litre, according to GasBuddy.com.
As the novel coronavirus continues to spread around the world, several countries have imposed strict quarantine measures, including limiting travel, causing a drop in the demand for oil.
Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy, said the COVID-19 outbreak has probably accounted for a 40-per cent drop in the price of oil, which in turn has given rise to an average 15-cent-per-litre decrease in Canada.
Mac said while fears over COVID-19 led to the start of softening of prices a the pumps, a dispute between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia that came to a head Monday has also played a role.
“We woke up this morning and we heard about the price war between the Saudis and the Russians and now a barrel of oil is only $32,” she said.
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