Metro Atlanta gas prices drop below $1.50/gallon as virus saps demand

Regular gas at Sam’s Club in Buford near Mall of Georgia dropped to $1.39 a gallon on Saturday, March 28, 2020. Gas prices in metro Atlanta have fallen amid the global coronavirus outbreak. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

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Regular gas at Sam’s Club in Buford near Mall of Georgia dropped to $1.39 a gallon on Saturday, March 28, 2020. Gas prices in metro Atlanta have fallen amid the global coronavirus outbreak. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Gas prices in metro Atlanta have dipped below $1.50 per gallon at some stations, reaching new multi-year lows, as global demand for crude oil continues to drop due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Prices this weekend are as low as $1.30 at the Shell on Lawrenceville Highway in Gwinnett County, according to GasBuddy, which tracks prices nationally.

The average per-gallon price in metro Atlanta was about $1.80 Saturday afternoon, GasBuddy reported. That's the lowest since early 2016, when average prices dropped to about $1.60 in the region.

Costs still vary across metro Atlanta. As of Saturday, the most expensive gas cost $2.29 per gallon near intown Atlanta, according to GasBuddy.

Early this month, just after the first case of cononavirus was detected in Georgia, the lowest reported gas price in metro Atlanta was $1.95 per gallon.

Since then, demand for oil and gasoline has continued to tank across the country as more people stay at home due to the virus. Globally, the price of crude oil has dropped as travel falls dramatically.

Previously, factory shutdowns in China and virtual lockdowns of large regions of the country were enough to slash the demand for gas.