The collapse in oil prices, now hovering around $45 per barrel in the U.S

Currently national gas prices at the pump average around $2.34 a gallon.

The collapse in oil prices, now hovering around $45 per barrel in the U.S., is terrifying, according to former Shell Oil President John Hofmeister.

“It’s getting to a scary point,” he said during an interview on FOX Business’ Varney & Co. “If we get below $40 we’ll see rapid stopping of drilling because the companies simply can’t afford it.”

Crude prices sunk to a 17-month low on Friday, down about 24 percent this year, as global oversupply kept buyers away from the market ahead of the holiday break. However, in Hofmeister’s opinion, crude is at its lowest point.

“I hope for the sake of both consumers and the industry that we are at the bottom,” he said.