Durango gas prices fell in line with the national trends this week, dropping to an average of $2.39 a gallon, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report.
The lowest prices can be found along Main Avenue, at Conoco, with $2.35 per gallon, and at Peerless Tires, with $2.34 per gallon.
So far, the nationwide decline in gas prices has lasted 88 days, and consumers are realizing savings that may make Christmas a bit merrier.
“As Americans take to the road for Christmas travel, they’ve all been given a gift that keeps on giving: falling gas prices,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy in a statement.
The decline is expected to last at least through the beginning of the year and possibly stay low through the spring, said Wave Dreher, a AAA representative for Colorado.
Durango’s prices stack up in the middle of the pack compared with neighboring towns. Prices in Cortez have dropped to $2.29 a gallon, in Farmington, they are around $2.49 a gallon, and in Pagosa Springs, they are near $2.39 a gallon, according to GasBuddy.
Durango’s prices are likely a function of the local market and what consumers are willing to pay, Dreher said.
But local consumers aren’t complaining, said Sammy Denham, the manager at Peerless Tires.
“The only time they say anything is when it’s bad,” he said.
Locally, things are only getting better. Gas prices are 20 cents cheaper per gallon than they were last week and 80 cents less per gallon than last year.
Colorado is among 30 states where the average price is below $2.50 a gallon. It’s a blessing for the 1.6 million Coloradans who will be traveling from Dec. 23 through Sunday Jan. 3.
However, crude oil prices may be stabilizing around $55 per barrel, and the decline in gas prices may start to slow, according to a news release from Gas Buddy, a consumer service.
“I’m worried the decline may soon begin slowing – oil prices have held in the mid-$50s, and the concrete may be setting in. If it does, and oil prices fail to drop below $50 (per barrel), gas prices likely won’t drop more than another 10-20 cents per gallon,” DeHaan said in a statement.
When the market for oil turns around, that’s when local drivers may start talking with Denham at Peerless.
“When it goes back up, it’s going to be tragic,” said Denham.