Lower gas prices mean more holiday cheer for Pinebelt residents

Lower gas prices mean more holiday cheer for Pinebelt residents

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - We're all trying to save a few bucks this holiday season and folks around the Pinebelt are glad to get a break with gas prices as they continue to tumble.

The average price of a gallon of gas in Mississippi is around $2.32 per gallon and the short term forecast may mean that prices could dip below $2.00 per gallon. In fact, some stations in north Mississippi are enjoying $1.97 per gallon. Falling gas prices have been driven by a result of oversupply and less demand for oil.

Globally, crude prices have fallen to around $56 per barrel from a June high of $115 per barrel. Global supplies are high thanks in part to rising production and new techniques in getting oil from more places. While demand is relatively weak because of the slowing economies in Europe, the lower prices are forcing oil companies to consider scaling back drilling plans for next year.

To many motorist though, the low gas prices means more money in their pockets for this holiday season. Shirley Ellzey, a resident from Moselle, Mississippi says the low gas prices have helped her in a lot of ways.

"It makes it a lot easier to make your money stretch out through the month and I'm on a fixed income and it's real important to be able to go to the doctor's offices and to town, so it's really helpful." said Ellzey.

OPEC, the cartel of oil-producing nations that has historically been able to calibrate the price of oil and ultimately gasoline, by increasing and decreasing supply, announced that it won't fight the price skid by cutting production. That likely means prices will continue to fall, and the more costly production techniques like fracking, could become cost-prohibitive.