How low oil prices are affecting our area


AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The demand for gasoline is down and some have probably noticed the lowest prices in years at the pump.

Earlier this week, the price of crude oil went negative and the price is still quite low. Until the demand for gas returns, drivers can expect to see these same low prices at the pump.

Despite the low demand, local refineries are still working and producers of crude oil are too.

Jason Herrick, the president of Pantera Energy Company, explains local refineries, like the Valero McKee Refinery in Sunray and Phillips 66 in Borger, are still taking crude oil and making products like diesel and unleaded gasoline.

He said while gas prices at the pump physically can’t go much lower, eventually, there will no longer be any storage for crude oil and other products.

Herrick said most predictions say storage for crude oil could be full by mid-May or even June.

“It, again, depends on how long the demand is out, but instead of just using a refinery, put it in a storage,” said Herrick. “And so now we’re approaching where the buying public has changed. Now we’ve got actual storage companies that are just buying oil to hold on to it to sell at a later price.”

Herrick said there are a lot of trucks driving across the country and delivering products, so there is still need diesel fuel.

He says those refineries are continuing to produce, just at lower volumes.

The Texas Railroad Commission has not capped oil production yet, so the oil fields are going to continue working.

Herrick also said oil and gas have a large effect on our local and state budgets, so it is something to keep an eye on in the coming weeks and months.

To see more of the in-depth interview with Herrick, tune into Politics Today, Sunday at 10 a.m. after Meet the Press on KAMR Local 4.

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