Gas prices will spike as summer approaches

Gas prices will spike as summer approaches

METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - After a brief break, prices at the pump are on the rise again. FOX 8 explores why and how high they might go.

It doesn't feel like spring is just around the corner, but with the change in seasons comes higher gas prices. Don Redman, Triple A spokesman said, "Summer grade is more expensive to refine, it's cleaner and it's less volatile." The switch combined with the trend for refineries to shut down for maintenance in the spring typically means a price hike.

Redman said we can expect to see an increase of 40 to 50 cents per gallon in the coming weeks. He said, "I think that maybe we might see a springtime high of about $2.40 a gallon in Louisiana, so that's our projection right now." The increase comes as no surprise to consumers. Darlah Vickers said, "Way better than we have been, but too bad I don't really think it is going to last."

Pak Pomerleau said, "It won't be as bad as it is in California. In California it's like three-something a gallon. The summer bump ain't going to hurt me here." A refinery explosion in Torrance, Calif., last week made a dramatic impact on that state's prices. Redman said, "It generates about a third of their gasoline is produced by that one refinery well it's down now."

Redman says the prices are very news-driven, so that if there were a problem with a refinery or the U. S. Steelworkers strike caused more disruptions, we might see larger increases. Redman said, "The sooner that dispute is resolved the less impact it will be." As of now, predictions keep prices relatively low.

Redman said, "We don't expecting any average above $3 a gallon this entire year so I think we are in pretty good shape this year."

So while it will cost a little more to fill up it looks like drivers will still be in better shape than a year ago.

Tulane Energy Institute Associate Director Eric Smith says gas prices will continue to become more volatile as the United States becomes the swing production nation with more influence on world crude supplies.

Copyright 2015 WVUE. All rights reserved.