Gas prices in Parksville Qualicum Beach area are now below one dollar per litre.
As of Wednesday morning, March 25, motorists could be seen filling up as the cost at the pumps plunged below the one-dollar mark.
“It’s exceptionally rare to see gas prices go under a dollar,” said Wayne Pike, owner of PetroCanada in Parksville. “I can’t really remember the last time this happened.”
Pike believes the dip in the gas cost is due to a lower consumer demand for gas. He said there’s less travelling right now due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
GasBuddy, which monitors gas prices, also credits the current coronavirus crisis as the reason prices in March have been going down and expects the trend to continue.
Its head of petroleum analysis, Patrick DeHaan, said in a GasBuddy news report the pandemic is destroying oil demand globally “leading to the lowest oil prices we’ve seen in 18 years.”
In Nanaimo, the lowest gas price noted on GasBuddy as of March 25 was 96.9 cents per litre.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a collapse in prices, even including the Great Recession,” DeHaan said. “What we’re witnessing is easily going to go down as the great collapse in oil demand, and for motorists hurrying to fill up today, they’re wasting their money as prices will continue to drop in the days ahead. Gas stations are passing along the drop several weeks behind, and there’s plenty more room for prices to drop.”