Omicron won't slow gas demand: GasBuddy analyst
Patrick De Haan predicts more Americans will soon hit the road as some areas have seen gas prices drops
GasBuddy head of petroleum analysis Patrick De Haan noted in an appearance on "Varney & Co." Tuesday that, currently, there is an "insatiable amount of gasoline demand" — and that there are "very strong" signs that it won’t slow down due to the omicron variant.
De Haan, citing data he reviewed, noted that demand for gas on Monday presented the highest number so far in 2021, which was also "the highest Monday" since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
De Haan made the comments on Tuesday as the national average for gas was $3.30, which is 11 cents less than the month before and two cents less than the week before, according to AAA.
The association noted that gasoline demand surged last week due to increased pre-holiday consumer confidence, adding that concerns over the new variant’s economic impact could threaten future global oil consumption.
AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross pointed out that the "demand increase should drive pump prices higher, but it’s been blunted by the wavering price of crude oil."
On Tuesday, oil rose over 4% to the $71-per-barrel level.
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De Haan argued that more Americans may be hitting the road as some areas have experienced a drop of more than 50 cents for gas in the last month.
He noted that in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan, one station has fallen 76 cents a gallon since November.
De Haan added that falling gas prices have come just in time for the Christmas holiday.
Host Stuart Varney asked De Haan how it could be that gas prices continue to fall amid "huge demand for gas."
De Haan responded by acknowledging that there is "a hefty disconnect in the price of oil on omicron fears," noting that "a lot of those fears are probably originating oversees" as lockdowns have been issued in Europe.
He remarked that, in the U.S., there is "a lot of resistance" to lockdowns and that Americans are "not going to lose out on another Christmas holiday like we did last year."
De Haan subsequently stressed that, in America, "the signs are very strong that gasoline demand is not going to slow down, at least not yet, because of the omicron variant."
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He added that gasoline data supports the sentiment that Americans are not repressed by the new variant and are still going out.
"Americans are not going to be missing out, especially with falling gas prices," he told Varney. "There’s a lot of protection. Of course vaccines are available. Americans aren’t going to be held back this year and gasoline demand data … certainly backs up that narrative."