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Plunging gas prices means oil companies hit hard

Posted at 8:11 AM, Feb 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-02 08:37:16-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- Many oil companies have taken a hard hit with lower crude oil prices, but British Petroleum company "BP" is reporting a 91% plunge in fourth quarter earnings.

According to AAA, the national average has spent 32 consecutive days below the $2 per gallon benchmark. This means oil companies are slashing jobs and delaying investments as crude prices plummet.

The good news for drivers is that the national average is at the lowest price it has been since January 2009. According to the Gas Buddy website, price averages in Southwest Florida are below $2 with: Cape Coral at $1.76, Fort Myers at $1.76, Punta Gorda at $1.78 and Naples at $1.87.

 "Just enjoy it while it lasts," said AAA spokesperson Marsha Kut. "I think it will last unless something absolutely crazy happens with the oil prices that will dictate the gas prices."

Kut did also mention, however, that drivers may see a surge in gas prices this month as refineries prepare for the summer and are not able to put enough gas into the market to meet demand. Then experts say it should level back out again. 

"After that you'll start seeing it inching back down again because they are so stockpiled, " said Kut.  "It's the biggest stockpile of oil we've ever had in history."