Get ready for gas prices to rise again going into spring. A gallon of driving fuel could go back above $4, according to GasBuddy petroleum analyst Patrick De Haan.
“It’s a question of when, not if. I think something like that could happen by potentially April, maybe sooner,” said De Haan.
“I think motorists are going to start getting squeezed more so in late February. The next three weeks could be a bit of a mixed bag,” he said.
De Haan points to planned breaks in production at refineries as part of the reason for a rise in prices.
“We have a pretty heavy amount of refinery turnarounds that is going to start here in the next couple of weeks. That is going to lead to a diminished amount of gasoline supply,” he said.
He also points to the end of lockdowns in China, the biggest consumer of energy, as a catalyst for increased demand.
“With China reopening you can’t underscore it enough,” he said.
“The U.S. economy — when we reopened saw a level of pent up demand,” added De Haan. “The same would apply in China. That is likely to chart our course for the next 3-6 weeks.”
The national average of retail gasoline is at $3.41 per gallon, compared to $3.10 a month ago, according to AAA.
On Wednesday Brent (BZ=F) crude was trading just above $86 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate (CL=F) was trading just above $80 per barrel.
Ines is a senior business reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @ines_ferre
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