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Idaho gas prices drop a penny as Omicron variant emerges

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The following is a news release from AAA Idaho.

BOISE – Omicron is the word on everyone’s mind, as news of the latest COVID-19 variant broke last week. According to AAA, the possibility of another global economic slowdown and additional travel restrictions was enough to send crude oil prices into a free-fall on Friday, with the West Texas Intermediate dropping by $10 per barrel.

“There’s a lot we don’t know about the Omicron variant, so it’s too early to tell whether the recent drop in the price of crude is temporary or if it will persist,” says AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde. “In the meantime, fuel demand is expected to fall, which could bring some relief at the pump as we approach the Christmas holiday.”

Idaho’s average price for regular currently sits at $3.68 per gallon, which is a penny less than a week ago and three cents less than a month ago. Today (Monday), the national average is $3.39, which is two cents less than a week ago and a penny less than a month ago. The Gem State remains in 8th place for most expensive fuel.

The price of crude dropped as low as $68 per barrel over the weekend but is back up to $70 Monday. Prior to the news surrounding the Omicron variant, prices rose last week despite an announcement by the Biden Administration that the United States would coordinate with other non-OPEC countries, including China, India, Japan, South Korea, and the U.K., to release some oil reserves in order to elevate the global supply of crude and help keep prices in check.

“Depending on the amount of oil that these countries release, there’s still a possibility that the desired effect could come about. But there’s also a chance that OPEC may retaliate by dropping their production levels even further,” Conde said. “With so many variables in play right now, we’ll be keeping a close eye on the market in the days and weeks ahead.”

Here’s a look at Idaho gas prices as of Nov. 29:

Boise – $3.79
Coeur d’Alene – $3.35
Franklin – $3.67
Idaho Falls – $3.62
Lewiston – $3.29
Pocatello – $3.70
Twin Falls – $3.82