Gasoline prices have rapidly risen to a 19-month high and could jump another 20 cents per gallon during the spring driving season.
The average price for unleaded gasoline nationally is $2.38 per gallon, 8 cents per gallon higher than at the end of March, according to AAA. The price is also just above the highest average retail price during 2016 and is the highest level since September 2015.
“I think we’re going to get another 10 to 20 cents” this spring, said Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at the Oil Price Information Service. “Anything beyond that would be event driven.”
Kloza expects oil to stay in the mid-$50s per barrel, but if it shoots higher due to an unforeseen geopolitical factor or other event, like a hurricane, gasoline would also go higher.
Gasoline prices typically rise in the spring, as demand increases and after refineries switch to summer driving fuels. Last year, prices peaked at $2.379 in June, and they are currently 34 cents per gallon higher than at the same time last year. Until recently, the gasoline market has been working down a glut of winter fuel and gasoline prices stayed flat in March.
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