For the last 10 weeks, the United States has consecutively seen a steady decline in crude oil inventories, according to Gasbuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Dan McTeague.
In January of 2017, the cost of a barrel of oil was around $52. McTeague shared that right now, we’re seeing prices closer to $66. That is a $14 difference and he said it may increase as the year goes on with high demand at the national and international levels, increased exports and stalled production continuing to impact costs.
That decline in inventories has resulted in higher commercial gas prices, with Hoosier motorists paying $2.54 on average. That is about 50 cents more than the same time last year. McTeague explained that this trend is fairly uncommon for January going into February since we typically see lower prices while still utilizing winter blends.
McTeague said that prices can be pushed so far before consumers will rethink filling up,
“At what point do prices become so expensive that people are dissuaded? I think anything under $3 a gallon is still safe but over $3 a gallon, people will start to take notice but there’s no doubt about it, with America producing and selling a lot more oil, oil is quickly becoming king once again.”
He said if crude oil costs continue this upward trend, we can expect to see gas prices get up to the $3 range when they make the switch to summer blend in late March to mid-April.
Recently, prices in Marshall County are coming in as low as $2.47 at some Plymouth stations but in Bremen prices are listed around $2.54 and individuals in Argos can expect to pay up to $2.69 per gallon.
Pulaski County is seeing an average of $2.66 while Starke County residents can expect to pay anywhere between $2.65 to $2.69, depending on where they fuel up.
McTeague encourages people to shop around, especially if they commute. He said simply saving six to ten cents on a gallon of gas can result in big savings over time.
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