⛽ Making summer plans? Here’s the outlook for gas prices
⛽ More refineries are coming back online
⛽ There is one thing that could force prices at the pump to shoot higher

Gas prices in New Jersey have been moving higher, up 7 cents over the past week, and drivers are wondering if we’re heading up to $4 a gallon regular by Memorial Day

Tom Kloza, the head of energy analysis for the Oil Price Information Service doesn’t think so.

He last week Jersey switched from winter gasoline formula to the blend used during the warm weather months, which increased prices at the pump by 15 to 25 cents ‘but then a funny thing happened, the market kind of cratered lower and gasoline from coast to coast dropped by about 30 cents in price.”

What happens next

Townsquare Media NJ photo illustration
Townsquare Media NJ photo illustration

He said moving forward we should not really see gas prices go much higher at all.

“The numbers are going to be like major league batting averages, and I don’t think we’re going to go up to Ted Williams 400 territory, I think we’re going to be in the 350 range or so.”

He said while some analysts have predicted gas prices to peak around Memorial Day “I actually think that we are probably looking at the highs right now.”

Plenty of gasoline

Kloza noted many refineries that had been shut down for maintenance will be coming back online in early May “so when the driving season starts and most people would say that gets inaugurated on Memorial Day weekend, prices are basically struggling to hold on.”

He pointed out “there’s plenty of motivation to make a lot of gasoline, we’re actually going to be importing some of it from Europe.”

smrm1977 GettyImages
smrm1977 GettyImages

Kloza said while gas prices remain fairly low, the cost of hotels and motels has increased dramatically which may be curbing travel plans for many New Jerseyans.

He added for the next several months prices may actually fall a few cents “but we do not have any capability of handling things if we get tropical weather hit a refinery anywhere from Corpus Christi to Mississippi. If we have a hurricane in July, August or September that could really alter the calculus and send prices sky high.”

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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