Gas prices expected to rise as summer approaches

Glen Mclaughlin
April 15, 2018

USA crude stocks rose last week while gasoline stocks increased and distillate inventories fell, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

The EIA blamed the increase on crude oil prices, which are expected to average $12 per barrel higher than last summer.

Net U.S. crude imports rose last week by 1.722 million barrels per day.

This week, gas prices in Gary were 20 cents higher per gallon than a year ago, with the cheapest price being $2.49 a gallon. The national average price of gasoline is now its priciest since July 2015, almost 1,000 days, rising to $2.68 per gallon overnight according to GasBuddy, the only smartphone app connecting 70 million drivers with their Perfect Pit Stop. Across the river in Moorhead, Minn., the average price was $2.49. The Middle Eastern cartel of oil-producing nations, OPEC, made a decision to cut oil production in November 2016, which played a role, said Patrick DeHaan, an analyst with GasBuddy.com. In comparison, the national average is $2.67, and the average in Texas is $2.45. This news follows Energy Information Agency (EIA) reporting that crude exports hit a record high for the week ending on March 30.

To say that retail gasoline prices have been volatile this year may be stating the obvious.

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"As we start the last day of the week, we feel that the geopolitical risks are not as high as feared three days ago", Petromatrix said in a note.

Another factor raising prices is last year's decision by Saudi Arabia to reduce the amount of oil that it exports to the U.S. Currently, the U.S.is importing 14 percent less oil from Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, oil prices steadied on Friday, heading for their largest weekly gain since July after U.S. President Donald Trump's comments about possible military action in Syria and reports of dwindling global oil stocks.

"We go home maybe two times a year now", said one driver who now lives in Alabama, but is originally from New Orleans. "All of this is happening at the same time when USA oil inventories are about 20% lower than they were about a year ago".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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