NORTHWEST INDIANA - Average retail gasoline prices in Northwest Indiana have risen just under nine cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.58/g Sunday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 314 gas outlets in Northwest Indiana. This compares with the national average that has increased almost two cents per gallon in the last week to $2.60/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.
Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, on Tuesday said prices are a bit higher than they were a week ago.
"We saw a price hike going into last weekend that brought prices up to about $2.65 a gallon, but things have started to trickle down again," DeHaan says. "Prices down about two cents just since yesterday (Monday) but it's probably just a matter of time before they go back up like they tend to do every week or so. The price of oil, it was down yesterday, a pretty sizeable amount. Of course everything fell yesterday of course the Dow Jones led that. Oil prices did give up a little more ground today so I do think that before the possibility of another hike, we'll probably see gas prices go even lower before all of that stuff I had mentioned with refinery maintenance season."
DeHaan says that maintenance season will likely interrupt the low prices consumers have been enjoying.
"It's that time of year if you will," DeHaan says. "Not only are oil prices somewhat high, but we're also dealing with refinery maintenance season which is just a few weeks away."
DeHaan says high oil prices continue to push gasoline prices to territory that Americans haven't seen for years, aside from Hurricane Harvey last September. He says that while oil production in the U.S. reaches highs not seen since the 1970's, OPEC's production cuts for the last year have weighed heavily on global inventories, mitigating any small rise in U.S. production. And the damage could get even worse as refinery maintenance season and summer gasoline is on the horizon. This has been a storm brewing since the Obama administration legalized oil exports and OPEC decided to forgo market share to tighten global supply. DeHaan says all of this and more will lead to average gas prices being 25-50 cents per gallon higher by Memorial Day.