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Low Oil Prices Could Throw OK Into Mini-Recession

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As the price of crude oil continues to spiral downward, the price per barrel is coming dangerously close to the $30 mark; a price experts say could mean a catastrophe for the oil and gas industry.As the price of crude oil continues to spiral downward, the As the price of crude oil continues to spiral downward, the price per barrel is coming dangerously close to the $30 mark; a price experts say could mean a catastrophe for the oil and gas industry.As the price of crude oil continues to spiral downward, the
OKLAHOMA CITY -

As the price of crude oil continues to spiral downward, the price per barrel is coming dangerously close to the $30 mark; a price experts say could mean a catastrophe for the oil and gas industry.

With one of the biggest driving holidays just around the corner, those low prices will mean good things for the everyday consumer.

Some experts are saying the state could be heading towards a mini-recession, if it's not in one already.

The price of crude oil was sitting below $40 as of Wednesday, sending gas prices in some areas below $2 per gallon. Low numbers like that could mean layoffs in the thousands from oil and gas companies already feeling the squeeze.

"So many sectors associated with the price of oil, certainly oil and gas, and then state revenue and the list goes on and on. It's really terrible for the state," AAA spokesman Chuck Mai said.

But it may not be all bad for some other industries. Retailers expect Oklahomans to be ready to spend some of their savings during the holidays. Travel, hospitality and automakers could see a bump in business too.

“With lower gas prices, lower fuel prices, [travelers are] opting to drive rather than fly,” Will Rogers World Airport spokeswoman Karen Carney said. “They're taking those drivable distances rather than flying.”

One airline executive told CBS news every penny the price of fuel drops is a savings of $40 million for each airline. But travelers shouldn’t expect to see cheaper plane tickets.

Carney said the airlines have not been passing those savings onto their customers so far this season.

“Lots of supply, low demand and low prices,” Mai said. “That will serve to stimulate demand, people driving more because of the low prices.”

The price of oil is expected to rebound some, most forecasters predict up to $60 a barrel by the end of 2015. 

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