Gulf Oil CEO Joe Petrowski told a Boston TV station that he thinks pump prices could fall to $1 a gallon in early 2009.
"The oil market is a manic-depressive market. It tends to overshoot," Petrowski told WCVB-TV of Boston. He said the price of crude could drop to $20 per barrel. “The market overshot last summer on the high side. Oil never should have gone to $147, but it did and it can.”
Petrowski is betting the slide in oil prices will continue to fall dramatically and overshoot on the low side next year, the news station reported.
"There is a better than 25% probability that we’ll see oil go as low as $1 a gallon sometime after the first of the year," he said.
Newton, Mass.-based Gulf Oil distributes fuel through a network of 1,800 Gulf gas stations throughout the Northeast.
Petrowski also told the news station he thinks the drop in oil prices could help the U.S. climb out of a recession.
"The price of oil has a tremendous impact on discretionary consumer spending. I think it hurt us tremendously during July and August," Petrowski told the news station.
Long term, the U.S. needs “to have oil prices at an equilibrium price that will encourage new production, will encourage efficiency and will encourage alternative sources,” he said, adding that he hopes the motivation to create alternative energy sources will not be lost if pump prices continue to fall.