Gas prices have risen between 25 and 30-cents a gallon at many stations since Christmas Day.
“In the last two weeks, we‘ve seen oil prices make a five-to-seven dollar a barrel increase, so we‘re seeing higher oil prices, which means higher gas prices,” says Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com. “We have seen wholesale prices shoot up 30-cents a gallon in the last week-and-a-half, so this is not something that station owners are doing because they can or because they want to.”
Part of the reason for the rise in oil prices is the perception among commodity traders that the economy is getting stronger, meaning more oil will likely be used in the coming months.
The gas supply in the Midwest has also been hampered by problems experienced at two Illinois refineries, an Exxon facility in Joliet and a Phillips 66 plant in Wood River.
“Those are temporary issues that should be behind us in the next few days, so perhaps that will give us a little relief, but we can‘t tell what will happen tomorrow and in the days ahead at this point,” DeHaan says.
DeHaan believes gas prices should remain relatively stable, at least through the weekend.