- Associated Press - Friday, December 26, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - It’s sticker shock, but of the welcome variety.

Gas prices have dropped below $2 per gallon at select Minnesota stations, reflecting steadily falling prices toward levels not seen for five years.

WCCO-TV reported Friday that some Twin Cities drivers were calling it a miracle given that gas was going for more than $3 per gallon not long ago.

The disbelief led Motorist Abbe Ceynar to snap a picture as she filled up.

“I have to prove it to everybody that that’s the price I got,” Ceynar said.

Doug Wychoff, who was in Minnesota from Kansas to celebrate the holiday, was adding up the savings.

“We’ll probably save $75 on gas for the trip,” Wychoff said. “It’s 1,000 miles back and forth, so it’s $75. Works for me.”

KARE 11-TV said the sub-$2 phenomenon hasn’t hit widely yet. Most other stations are still selling for $2.15 to $2.30, according to price-check sites.

The last time gas prices in the region averaged less than $2 was in 2009.

There are several factors at play, but one big one has to do with the steep drop in crude oil prices on the global market. Oil had been trading at $107 per barrel in June after unrest in the Middle East; now it’s around $60.

Meanwhile, U.S. oil production is zooming. As this year draws to a close, U.S. drillers are producing 9 million barrels of oil per day, which is up 80 percent since 2008 and the highest rate of production in three decades.

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