Summer gas prices projected to be lower than the same period last year

Updated Apr 9, 2015
Credit: ReutersCredit: Reuters

Gas Buddy, which tracks gasoline prices in real time across the country, is predicting 2015 second quarter gasoline prices will be below 2014 prices by $0.75 to $1.25 per gallon. This coincides with data released Wednesday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which projected an average price over the summer of $2.45 per gallon. The projection is based on a large drop in Brent crude oil prices, which caused global crude oil supply to exceed demand in late 2014, according to the EIA’s April 2015 Short-Term Energy Outlook.

The national average price of gasoline increased 45 cents per gallon in the first quarter of 2015, with California and the Great Lakes region posting the highest prices.

“While California’s average reached a 2015 high point of $3.44 earlier this year, and the Great Lakes states saw spikes due to multiple refinery problems in the Midwest, we believe we may have already seen the 2015 peak for the United States when the national average hit $2.47 per gallon on March 6,” Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy, said in a company press release.

Credit: U.S. Energy Information AdministrationCredit: U.S. Energy Information Administration

“Once refineries complete their scheduled maintenance seasons and switch to summer formulations is complete, their output typically increases,” says DeHaan. “Barring any unforeseen events – like refinery breakdowns or hurricanes – current supply and demand fundamentals could put more downward pressure on retail prices even during the summer driving season.”

GasBuddy projects second quarter national average prices of gasoline will range as follows: April: $2.25 to $2.45 May: $2.20 to $2.40 June: $2.15 to $2.35. The EIA reported that regional differences including factors such as costlier gasoline blends should result in a higher price on the West Coast, with an average of $2.82 per gallon. The lowest gasoline price projected for the summer of 2015 is along the Gulf Coast, with an average of $2.25 per gallon. Prices in the Midwest, East Coast and Rocky Mountains are projected to average $2.41 per gallon.

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