Along with the bad news of the worldwide Omicron COVID 19 virus scare, the good news is that oil prices are plummeting, with gas prices hopefully to follow.

Analyst with Gas Buddy Patrick DeHaan spoke to KGVO News on Wednesday.

“Oil prices have plummeted in the last week and a half, and that's thanks to the Omicron variant that has been identified, giving concern to oil markets that as governments react to shut down travel, that could potentially curb oil demand,” said DeHaan. “Now, that has not yet started to translate into lower gas prices, that is at least noticeably lower prices.”

DeHaan provided more details.

“The anxiety over the new COVID variant is leading oil prices far, far lower,” he said. “In fact, last Friday, Black Friday, oil prices plummeted 13 percent with the wholesale price of gasoline plummeting nearly 30 cents a gallon.”

There has been a lot of talk by the Biden Administration to switch over to electric vehicles, but DeHaan said it will take years before the nation’s grid and infrastructure could handle the change.

“The nation's electricity grid is very touchy still, it needs to be brought up to speed much faster than Americans need to switch the EV’s,” he said. “If every American went out and bought an EV, the grid would certainly be hindered as a result. So there needs to be upgrades that have to happen in order for this to be successful, and I certainly think that we are years away from making a successful transition simply because so much does need to be done.”

DeHaan circled back to Montana’s gas price situation, and how the Omicron virus scare might play out with gas prices.

“Montana's statewide average is still at about $3.39 a gallon, just a 10th of a penny lower than a week ago, but that should start translating into lower pump prices in the days ahead,” he said. “In fact, the national average is down about two cents a gallon in the last week. The downward momentum should pick up steam in Montana in the next week or two and slightly delayed nationally. The momentum will build into this week, as gas prices fall following the price of oil which is now nearly $16 a barrel lower than its peak a few weeks ago.”

Gas Buddy says the lowest gas price in Missoula can be found at Costco at $3.36 a gallon.

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