It may cost more to fill the gas tank in the coming months. Triple-A Nebraska spokesperson Rose White says the forecast is for the price at the pump to start going up. White says, “On a national level, yes, prices will be on the increase as refineries switch to the more costly to produce summer fuel blends. That is coupled with the higher demand you usually see with the onset of the summer travel season. Typically across the country, prices will increase 50-cents a gallon between now and the onset of the Memorial Day travel season.”
White says what is helping to temper this is crude oil prices are still low. Right now the price per barrel is $53 compared to $31 a year ago. For ever one-dollar increase in the price per barrel we typically see a three to four-cent price increase at the pump. Last year at this time we were paying $1.60 a gallon compared to today’s average statewide price at $2.32. Back in July of 2008 the statewide average was $4.10.
Gas prices at some Nebraska locations could reach the $3 a gallon mark. White says, “We will probably see it in some areas of Nebraska. We need to keep in mind that some of these communities might have just one single station. It is in a rural area with low volume sales but they still have the high overhead costs so as a result we always see a wide range of prices across the state.
White says there are no shortages to worry about and crude oil inventories are up eight-percent from one year ago. Other factors that impact the price of gas include refinery or pipeline shutdowns and the hurricane season that starts June 1st. White says forecasters are expecting that to be a bit higher than average regarding activity.