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Gas prices drop below $2 a gallon in Billings as oil industry braces for fall

Posted at 5:09 PM, Mar 19, 2020

If you're looking for some good news, we can tell you gas prices across Billings fell below $2 a gallon Wednesday.

Costco, Sam's Club and some Cenex and Holiday stores dropped their prices to as low as $1.95/ gallon.

According to online gastracker , Costco and Sam's Club have Billings lowest prices at $1.95. Some Holiday, Conoco and Cenex stores dropped their price to $1.98 and $1.99.

Unfortunately, pleasure at the pump translates into big worries in the oil industry.

In North Dakota, home of the Bakken oil play, Monday's price for North Dakota sweet crude had fallen to $18.50/barrel, with the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) price down to $28.70. That compares to prices around $50/barrel at the start of the year.

The North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources monthly report released this a week also hinted at other factors that could spell tough times ahead in the oil patch.

The daily count of active pill rigs was at 56 starting the week, but Department Director Lynn Helms warned that the industry projects a substantial reduction in rig count over the next few three months.

North Dakota's oil production remains at a healthy 1.4 million barrels per day. But with the demand for oil reeling due to the coronavirus pandemic, the industry is now in the midst of what one expert describes as a "every man for himself" strategy.