GasBuddy.com is reporting that gas stations in the area have raised their prices more than 30 cents. A number of stations are at $2.16. But, we are also hearing a handful of stations are checking in as low as $1.79 with others around $1.82 to $1.83.
Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.com says we will likely see a return to the price cycling we had become accustomed to, where stations cut prices slowly until they can‘t afford to cut them any more.
“It was brought on by stations becoming so competitive that they caused each other to essentially lose money on gasoline.”
If it is a price cycle, gas prices should start to trickle back down later this week. DeHaan adds, “I expect that by the weekend or early next week, prices will again be under $2 a gallon.”
“If the crude oil price drop had come late last week, that might have allowed stations to continue dropping gas prices,” he said. “But stations had dropped their prices faster than the drop in wholesale gas prices, so stations were operating at razor thin margins, with some stations even losing money.”
Most analysts had expected oil prices to settle in the low to mid-50 dollar range, so markets were likely shocked when the price of crude continued to go down. A price drop that was initially triggered by the decision of OPEC countries to not reduce production levels has continued, DeHaan says, because of economic conditions around the world. “