Oil prices impact on North Dakota

FARGO, ND (Valley News Live) - An oil price war inspired by the coronavirus epidemic has caused the price per barrel to drop.

Some oil analysts are anticipating barrel prices as low as $20 within the year.

This comes after Russia refused to go along with OPEC’s proposal to rescue the oil market by further cutting production.

"The wrath of Riyadh is upon us with them being upset that Russia would not join Saudia Arabia and OPEC in more oil cuts to sustain oil prices,” said Eugene Graner, Commodity Trading Adviser. “When Russia walked from it on Thursday, Saudia Arabia made a decision on Saturday that they were going to meet their revenue by just pumping oil."

North Dakota’s Director of Mineral Resources says they're already preparing for what this drop could mean in the future saying unless prices rebound within the next 30-60 days, we can expect to see an impact on production and field activity.

"We fully expect that in another quarter or 6 months, we're gonna see less drilling rigs and less frack crews unless this comes back very rapidly,” said Lynn Helms, Director of Mineral Resources.

The impact on the industry is then projected to impact every single person that fills up at the pump.

"Savings in oil will ultimately lead to savings at the pump for the consumer,” said Gene LaDoucer, AAA Spokesman. “Anywhere from probably 20 to 30 cents will take us below $2 a gallon in the Red River Valley area."

Drivers are welcoming the possible price drop.

"I mean its great for especially a college student that doesn't have a lot of money," said Landon Lang as he filled up at the pump.

"We have a lot of time when we are on the road and it’s expensive especially when you are running kids around,” said Jessica Brasel. “Having gas be a little cheaper is definitely a godsend there."

The drop in gas prices won't be immediate. Experts say to expect the change in the coming weeks.

The last time North Dakota had gas prices drop below $2 was in 2016.