Seasonal gas price hike anticipated

This photo was taken in January of 2023 but is close to current gas prices in the city. News Now Warsaw photo by Dan Spalding.

INDIANAPOLIS — Gas prices could reach as high as $3.39 per gallon this week across Indiana, according to GasBuddy.

It’s been a little over a week since prices jumped to $3.19.

“But we could see another price cycle this week if things don’t go well,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroelum analysis for GasBuddy. Some of those things that may not go well could include trouble with refineries.

There already has been an outage at a BP refinery in Whiting, which DeHaan still classifies as “partly to mostly down.” It happened February 1.

“Although it’s difficult to find accurate information because refineries don’t comment on operations,” said DeHaan. A transformer failed at the facilty, which led to flaring of the stacks and a shutdown at the BP refinery.

DeHaan says this is an opportunity to remind you that many other refineries across the country are about to start their seasonal maintenance ahead of summer.

“In addition, we’re just a couple of weeks away now from the transition to the beginning of summer gasoline,” said DeHaan.

In winter, gasoline blends have a higher Reid vapor pressure, meaning they evaporate more easily and allow gasoline to ignite more easily to start your car in cold temperatures. This blend is cheaper to produce, which results in lower gas prices at the pumps from late September through late April.

Fuel terminals are required to sell only summer gasoline on May 1, while gas stations have until June 1 to complete the changeover to summer gasoline. The switch from winter to summer gasoline is one of the major factors behind seasonal fuel price increases in May.

“But in the meantime, if you’re out and about and see prices at $3.29 or $3.39, that could be indicative of what’s going to happen across much of the region,” said DeHaan.