Gasoline Prices Expected to Tick Upward as Summer Demand Increases

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Prices for crude oil will continue to increase in the short term following their upward spike since March as demand for gasoline picks up with the arrival the summer months.

As crude oil prices have rebounded slightly, gasoline prices have followed suit and increased about one-third since March, said Bernard Weinstein, associate director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business in Dallas.

With the price of gasoline nationwide at $2.66 a gallon on average, consumers are still paying a dollar less per gallon than in 2014, he said. Prices for gasoline will not increase substantially “even as demand jumps over the Memorial Day weekend and into the summer,” Weinstein said.

The refineries that were shut down for maintenance during the winter and spring months are back online, and inventories of both gasoline and diesel are “at a record high, so there is plenty of product available,” he added.

When the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meets next month, there is a possibility that the cartel will announce a small reduction in production quotas, Weinstein said. The supply of oil globally is expected to remain high even through the end of the year, “suggesting that higher prices for refined products are unlikely,” he added.

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