Gas under $2/gallon at seven local stations

Just three years ago, gas prices dipped below $2 a gallon at this East Valley Parkway, Escondido Apex station. Times have changed with prices nearly doubled that now and the Apex station is long closed/Escondido Grapevine

For Escondido drivers, the price definitely was looking right this week.

That’s the price of gasoline, one gallon regular at 36 stations around Escondido as the Hidden Valley featured the lowest gas prices in Southern California. Seven stations, in all, had prices below $2 per gallon as of early Monday. Another dozen chimed in at under $2.10 per gallon.

Enjoy the lowest gas prices in Escondido since 2009 while you can. An agreement signed last week among the world’s top oil producers was gaining momentum with more oil nations joining throughout the week. As a result prices per barrel of crude rose from $29 to $33 and may go higher.

Leading the way was US Gasoline, 445 W 5th Ave. at Centre City Parkway which tipped the scales at $1.97 per gallon on Sunday, Feb. 21. Just behind was Apex Fuel at 1602 E Valley parkway at N Rose Avenue. Just across the border at $1.99 was Costco at 725 Center Dr., San Marcos, by Nordahl Drive.

Other station under $2 per gallon included: Varso at 2306 S Escondido Blvd. at Brotherton Road, Vons Fuel Station at 351 W Felicita Ave, Ronco Gas at 1158 E Washington Ave., Arco AmPm at 450 W El Norte Parkway at S Iris Lan, and OAAI Gas Station & Market at 2004 E Valley Parkway

Close but no cigar to the national average of $1.83 per gallon, but everybody knows processing costs plus taxes skews California’s prices higher. For those gas masochists in town, the highest prices reported by was $3.30 per gallon at  the Shell Station, 2375 E Valley Parkway at N Citrus Avenue.

Gas tanker drivers are being treated like royalty at local stations these days.

Gas tanker drivers are being treated like royalty at local stations these days.

The good gas times could continue rolling for a while. Prices may stay low for the near future or even drop, analysts said.

Global oil producers were ever so close to finalizing the first global oil deal in 15 years. That deal would freeze production, not cut it, which sent Benchmark Brent prices lower again. They had hit rock bottom at $29 a barrel before climbing to $35, then dropping to $32.

Fueling this speculation was a landmark global oil agreement reached behind closed doors on Tuesday, Feb. 16 between the world’s top two oil producers and exporters, OPEC power Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC member Russia. The two nations agreed to freeze production levels at January levels contingent on others joining them.

OPEC members Qatar, Venezuela and Kuwait said they would freeze while sources for Iraq, the world’s fastest-growing oil producer in the last year, said that nation would sign on the deal. Iran said it would sharply cut back, if not freeze production.

I’m adding to the short positions I have in U.S. crude spreads as I only expect price declines from here,” said Tariq Zahir at New York’s Tyche Capital Advisors to Reuters. “The output freeze will do nothing to alleviate excess supply.”

But analysts also cautioned of violent price spikes and market volatility in coming weeks should there be indications of serious production or stockpile declines,” according to Reuters. “On Friday, both Brent and U.S. prices jumped around 12 percent each, rocketing from 12-year lows, on the renewed speculation that OPEC might cut output.”

Business is booming at local gas stations.

Business is booming at local gas stations.

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