Gas prices dip in Pioneer Valley, some below $2

  • Harold Laflamm fills up at FL Roberts gas station in Easthampton, Jan. 14, 2019, and talks about the low gas prices. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • The Shell station on Northampton Street in Northampton was selling gas at $1.99 per gallon Wednesday. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Bob Gougeon, co-owner of Florence Towing where they sell Cito gas, talks about the impact the low gas prices are having on his privately-owned gas station. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • The Shell station on Northampton Street in Northampton was selling gas at $1.99 per gallon Jan. 13, 2019. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Harold Laflamm fills up at FL Roberts gas station in Easthampton, Jan. 14, 2019, and talks about the low gas prices. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Bob Gougeon, co-owner of Florence Towing where they sell Citgo gas, talks about the impact the low gas prices are having on his privately-owned gas station. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Harold Laflamm fills up at FL Roberts gas station in Easthampton, Jan. 14, 2019, and talks about the low gas prices. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Bob Gougeon, co-owner of Florence Towing where they sell Cito gas, talks about the impact the low gas prices are having on his privately-owned gas station. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Harold Laflamm fills up at F.L. Roberts gas station in Easthampton, Thursday. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Staff Writer
Published: 2/14/2019 11:30:36 PM

EASTHAMPTON — Gas prices have dipped to the lowest rates in recent years, with some local gas stations selling at under $2 per gallon.

At the F.L. Roberts on Northampton Street in Easthampton, the price of gas has been under $2 for the past two weeks, according to Fred Wilcox, general manager at the store. There’s been a definite uptick in business, he said on Thursday, and people are remarking on the low price of gas.

As for how long prices will remain low, Wilcox said, “It’s hard to say.”

The average price of gasoline across the country was an average of $2.25 per gallon at the beginning of January, according to AAA, which is the lowest price for this time of year since 2016.

On Thursday, the average cost of gasoline in Massachusetts was $2.33 per gallon, which is nine cents lower than just a month ago, according to GasBuddy, which provides data on retail fuel pricing in the United States, Canada and Australia.

Last year at this time, the average price of gas in the state was at $2.58 per gallon.

The price of fuel can be “volatile” and it hasn’t gone below $2.10 in recent years, Wilcox said. Drivers from neighboring towns will go to Easthampton for the low gas prices, he added, saving 14 cents a gallon on average.

While filling up his car’s tank of gas, Easthampton resident Harold Laflamm said he hopes the price goes down even lower, but “I got a feeling it will go up again in a couple more weeks.”

Laflamm never lets his gas tank go below half during the winter, he said, so filling up on gas only cost him $10.

At the Citgo gas station on North Main Street in Florence, Bob Gougeon, the store’s co-owner, attributes the low prices in the area to the newly opened Pride in Hadley and the new Cumberland Farms in Easthampton. At Pride, gas was $2.13 and at Cumberland Farms, it was $1.99 on Thursday.

“It’s very competitive right now and they tanked the prices and helped bring down the prices down tremendously,” Gougeon said of the Pride and Cumberland Farms.

The Cumberland Farms in Florence was selling gas at $2.12 while Citgo’s rate was at $2.23. In the past few months, the price of gasoline has gone down, Gougeon said, but he’s seen it start to creep up in recent weeks.

Some gas stations are not budging on pricing, however, and since many gas stations also sell snacks and food and other items, Gougeon said they can afford to keep prices low with little to no profit margin on gasoline.

The Citgo on North Main Street is full-service, and they have additives in their gasoline, so they have not matched the low prices at nearby stations, Gougeon said.

Gasoline with additives keeps the engine clean and will prevent problems for cars “in the long run,” compared to cheaper gas that doesn’t have additives, Gougeon said.

The average price of gasoline across the country was an average of $2.25 per gallon at the beginning of January, according to AAA, which is the lowest price for this time of year since 2016.

The price of gas is about as low as it’s going to get, Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy, said on Thursday.

“It won’t stick around more than a week or two,” DeHaan said.

In the summer there is a higher demand for gasoline, and oil refineries are preparing for the warmer months by selling off winter gasoline at a discounted rate, according to DeHaan.

Winter gasoline evaporates at a lower temperature so that it functions properly with car engines during the cold months, according to AAA.

Summer gasoline is more expensive for refineries to produce and causes a spike in prices, DeHaan said. As oil refineries prepare for the summer months, prices are expected to rise in March.

The U.S. is producing nearly 12 million barrels of crude oil per day and is now the world’s largest producer of gasoline, according to the Energy Information Administration, which has contributed to the dip in gas prices, DeHaan said.

Luis Fieldman can be reached at lfieldman@gazettenet.com




Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061
413-584-5000

 

Copyright © 2019 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy