Gas expert: ‘Prepare for further increases’ in gas prices

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Experts said gasoline demand continues to drive up gas prices in Peoria.

According to GasBuddy’s weekly survey, Peoria gas prices rose 1.5 cents per gallon in the past week, which is 22.2 cents per gallon higher than a month ago.

The survey showed average gas prices in Peoria currently at $2.87 per gallon. The cheapest gas price in the area is priced at $2.68 while the most expensive price is $3.09 per gallon, a difference of 41 cents per gallon.

GasBuddy Petroleum Analysis Head Patrick De Haan said OPEC surprised oil markets last week by extending oil production cuts for another month, ignoring the resurgence in global demand as economies recover from COVID-19.

He said those markets responded by pushing oil prices up 12%, meaning motorists should prepare for further gas price increases in the weeks and potentially months ahead, with a $3 per gallon national average potentially less than a month away.

“At the start of this year, it was somewhat outlandish to predict a $3 per gallon national average for the summer driving season, but thanks to the speed of recovery from the pandemic pushing demand higher and OPEC’s reluctance to raise oil production, we’re on the cusp of making that a reality,” De Haan said.

“It’s extremely frustrating as a consumer to feel helpless as prices soar and as millions remain unemployed, so the only advice I can offer consumers is [to] prepare for further increases, and to mitigate rising prices, shop around for the low prices every time you need to refuel. I’m hopeful OPEC will see the error in their ways at next month’s meeting, but with demand exceeding supply, the longer the imbalance continues, the longer it will take for any rise in oil production to offset it.”

Comparatively, gas prices across the state average $2.88 per gallon, up 4.8 cents from last week’s price. Champaign’s average price rose to $2.86 per gallon, and over in the Quad Cities, the average price rose to $2.75 per gallon.

The national average gas price also rose, averaging $2.77 per gallon.

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