By HADLEY BARNDOLLAR, Staff Writer

Let the exclamations of joy ensue: gas prices in Durham are down to $1.97 per gallon. Especially different from years past is that some drivers are able to fill up their tanks for roughly $25–$30.

According to an article on WMUR.com, AAA stated that the average price of regular gas statewide in New Hampshire was $2.08 per gallon as of Jan. 23. Both of Durham’s downtown gas stations, Irving and Phillips 66, are selling clean regular fuel for $1.97 per gallon.

An article by the Associated Press reported that New Hampshire gas prices are 95 cents lower per gallon than they were approximately a year ago. Some gas station managers expect this drop to continue.

Bob Sprague, manager of Phillips 66 on Dover Road, predicts his next delivery will be down to $1.95 per gallon.

“We’re pretty competitive with the guys across the street,” Sprague said. “If you’re a little bit lower than someone else, more people are going to come by. Usually we’re a couple pennies below Irving.”

Sprague mentioned Gasbuddy.com, a website where people can find the lowest gas prices in their area for when it’s time to fill up the tank. Navigated by zip code, the website shows competitors’ prices side by side, as well as the prices for different fuel grades. For example, EZ Stop in Loudon, New Hampshire, is currently selling regular fuel for $1.87 and is cited as the lowest price in New Hampshire right now.

Hadley Barndollar/STAFF Low gas prices on the sign of the Irving station in Durham.

Hadley Barndollar/STAFF
Low gas prices on the sign of the Irving station in Durham.

Sprague attributes the low prices to drilling in the United States.

“We’re doing pretty well here in New Hampshire,” he said. “It’s because we’re drilling our own oil in the U.S. now. A lot of the gas here is coming from North and South Dakota.”

While it seems almost everybody looks to spend less money, some see the low prices as problematic for the future.

“The U.S. is becoming self-sufficient, but because foreign oil dropped their prices to maintain control of the market, we had to drop our prices,” said Brian LaMuraglia, a University of New Hampshire junior. “The small pop-up frackers are losing money and won’t be able to handle the loss, where we’ll then probably become dependent again on foreign oil.”

LaMuraglia estimates that he fills his 2008 Ford Escape’s tank once every week and a half for $28.

Only time will tell what these low gas prices mean. But until then, everyone will enjoy having a wallet that’s a little more full.

Follow Hadley Barndollar on Twitter at @hbarndollar