Summer Gas Prices Expected to Top 2016

Summer Gas Prices Expected to Top 2016

USA

Retail gasoline prices across Texas and nationwide are up this week.

In the greater High Point area, the average price for a gallon of self-service unleaded is $2.31, though some city stations still were selling gas for several cents cheaper on Thursday.

"Gas prices are poised to rise because of the increase in the price of oil, because refinery conversion is underway and because of the increase in demand as the weather turns nice and more of us are driving", AAA Oklahoma spokesman Chuck Mai said.

Some 48 states and Washington D.C. are seeing higher pump prices driven by the change to more expensive summer-blend gasoline and an uptick in driving.

The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $2.40 which is three cents more than last week and 32 cents more per gallon than past year. Prices on the West Coast are often the highest in the country because California requires a blend of gasoline that is relatively costly to produce and some states in the region have higher state tax rates than the national average.

One factor that could cause a quick spike in prices at the pump is the ongoing tensions in the Middle East, particularly in Syria.

Gas prices are now the highest they've been in about a year and a half, according to the American Automobile Association. Despite having the lowest gas prices in the nation, the South and Southeast did see some big spikes in the region, such as Kentucky at an increase of 15 cents a gallon.

"All in all, the increases we've seen so far aren't too bad", he said of gas prices in IL.

The weather's getting warmer, and many USA drivers are looking forward to another summer of road trips thanks to relatively cheap gasoline. Gasoline prices in Gulf Coast states are often among the lowest in the country because of relatively low state tax rates and abundant gasoline supplies, as the region is home to about half of USA petroleum refining capacity.

Natural gas production also is expected to increase, according to the EIA report.

"Motorists have gotten used to gas prices under $3 a gallon, and that will continue", said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for the gas price tracking firm GasBuddy.

While DeHaan expects gas consumption to fall slightly, he said drivers will probably set another record for the amount of miles they drive because fuel efficiency has improved.

  • Jack Replman