HELENA — With the price of US Crude Oil down to around $20 per barrel on the West Texas Intermediate, gas prices across the country are reflecting that.
According to GasBuddy.com, both Helena and Great Falls are either in line with the national average of $1.99 per gallon or lower.
At Queen City Exxon in Helena, manager Jacob Ogle said prior to COVID-19 the gas station would see about 400 patrons use their full service pumps, but now a lack of business forced him to cut hours from his employees.
"The full service helps pay for an employee," said Ogle. "Now that we're down to one a day, I've had to cut everybody's hours because there's just no work for them."
With Queen City Exxon being the only full service station in the Helena-area, customers don't even have to unbuckle their seat belt to fill up their tanks, but according to Ogle the demand for a gallon of gas is low/
"We're just kind of at a flat line right now, it's just the low one," said Ogle "We'll gladly pump their gas for free if they pull up to our full service size. Just to keep the minimal contact that we can."
Ogle said on average his gas station is only selling a little over half of what it normally would for this time of year, and that flat line is one that's hurting the bottom lines of his station and plenty more in Montana and nationwide
"It's just not us that's suffering -- all the gas stations, my neighbor is suffering a little bit too. I talked with him last week and he's noticed a dramatic drop in everything as well."