Tightening oil supplies and a different gas blend could cause gas prices to increase again to $4 a gallon in 2023, a prominent gas analyst told CNN.
Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, told CNN that GasBuddy’s data indicates the average price of a gallon of gas could reach $4 by May. One part of the equation is the U.S. uses a more expensive blend of gas during hotter months.
The summer blend, which has a lower volatility than winter-grade gasoline to limit evaporative emissions, must be used by May 1.
“2023 is not going to be a cakewalk for motorists. It could be expensive,” he told CNN.
But some factors could cause prices to fall. If the U.S. enters a recession, that would likely reduce demand, causing prices to fall, he told CNN.
The high end of GasBuddy’s prediction has a gallon of gas reaching as high as $4.25 in August before returning to nearly $3 a gallon by the end of the year.
U.S. government predictions project the country will average $3.51 per gallon of gas in 2023, down from $3.99 in 2022, but up from $3.01 in 2021.
The federal projections indicate a drop in global oil supplies in the first half of the year before rising in the second half of 2023.
U.S. oil production is expected to increase by 450,000 million barrels per day in 2023, representing 4% growth.
Gas prices have steadily declined since reaching a peak of $5 a gallon in June.
As of Tuesday, the average cost of regular gas nationwide was $3.10 a gallon, according to AAA.
AAA was also reporting Tuesday that the average price for a gallon of gas in Montana stood at $2.97.