Analyst: Chicago, Nation On Pace To Reach Record High Gas Prices This Summer
Local Prices Could Exceed $4.35 A Gallon By Summer
With tensions in the Middle East rising every day, forcing the price of a barrel of oil to $100 and above, consequently prices are also jumping at area gas stations.
Already, gas prices locally and nationally have been steadily inching up for the past few months, setting monthly records. Generally speaking, gas prices begin rising in March and peak during the summer.
All these indicators have at petroleum pricing expert Patrick DeHaan concerned about the possibility of Chicago and the rest of the nation experiencing gas prices at levels never seen before.
“Already, Chicago has the highest prices on record for the month of February,” says DeHaan, petroleum analyst for the gas price tracking website, Gas Buddy.com. “Prices are the highest by 20 cents. The previous record (for Chicago) was $3.21 but now it’s averaging $3.45 in Chicago and we’re not even out of February. We could easily see another nickel added to Chicago’s prices–30 cents higher than the record for February.”
It was summer of 2008 when gas prices hit their highest prices ever.
The national record for a gallon of gas was $4.12 on July 15, 2008 with Chicago recording its highest average price for fuel at $4.35 per gallon the next day, July 16th, 2008.
Although it’s hard to see too far into the future, DeHaan thinks it quite possible for Chicago and all U.S. drivers to be paying record prices at the gas pump this summer.
“I forecast for this spring, the highest prices for Chicago we’ve ever seen,” predicts DeHann. “Prices usually start rising in March. If things in the Middle East get worse, there is a potential to hit record pricing in Chicago. It could be the worst pain at the pump Chicagoans have ever seen.”
Gas Buddy.com tracks fuel prices across 50 states and Canada, and let’s users know where to get the lowest gas prices in their area. The site also offers smart phone apps for iPhone, Android and will soon release versions for Blackberry and Windows Mobile. According to DeHaan, using the GPS functionality of their phones and Gas Buddy’s pricing database helps drivers always find the lowest fuel prices.