Don’t Get Your Hopes Up for Lower Gas Prices

Don’t Get Your Hopes Up for Lower Gas Prices

Gas prices have been slowly trekking higher for five consecutive days.

After several experts predicted that there would be some easing of the pain at the pump, it appears that gas prices are creeping higher once again.

The national average for a gallon of regular gas hit $4.11 on Wednesday, according to AAA data, and prices have been slowly trekking higher for five consecutive days.

“I expect that gasoline prices over the next week to 10 days are going to rise another 5 cents to 10 cents a gallon, which is bad news for the consumer but there’s little we can do about it until there are more oil supplies appear on the market,” Andy Lipow, an analyst at Lipow Oil Associates, told The National Desk.

In an effort to temper high gas prices, the White House has already committed to releasing one million barrels of oil per day from the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve and brought back leases for oil and gas drilling on federal lands.

“This just shows you how concerned the administration is about inflation and trying to do anything it can to get more oil supplies to the market,” Lipow noted. “Unfortunately, those new supplies are about a year away.”

Meanwhile, Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, contended that oil prices could play a bigger role in influencing gas prices going forward.

Currently, U.S. crude oil costs $102.54 per barrel, while Brent crude costs $105.49 as of Tuesday, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. For reference, when gas prices hit their highest levels in mid-March, U.S. crude oil and Brent crude were about $125 and $130 a barrel, respectively.

“We’ve now seen the national average price of gasoline decline every week for the last month, a feat we most likely would not have expected ahead of summer and given the continued turns in Russia’s war on Ukraine,” De Haan wrote.

“However, the downturn could slow or could even reverse in the days ahead if the rally in oil prices continues,” he said.

De Haan’s comments, however, were quite different just a week ago, when he stated in a blog post that “more good news is on the horizon: the national average this week will likely fall back under the critical $4 per gallon mark.”

The national average for regular gas topped out at a record $4.33 per gallon last month as the Russo-Ukrainian war propelled fears of massive disruptions to global oil supplies.

“I would not be laying odds on DraftKings that $4.33 will be the highest price over the next few months. We may go higher,” Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at the Oil Price Information Service, told CNN Business.

“The market is still scary,” he concluded.

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Finance and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.

Image: Reuters.