Fuel expert says those $4.20 per gallon gas prices in Quincy should decline when weather turns colder

gas prices

Traditionally, gas prices tend to drop in the fall when demand begins to lessen and a cheaper blend of fuel is used for fall and winter months. | pexels.com

QUINCY — Relief should eventually come to motorists from the recent spike in gas prices, but they will likely need to be patient.

The price of a gallon of gas in Quincy recently soared past $4 a gallon, but Patrick DeHaan, the senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com, told Muddy River News he expects the pain at the pump to gradually begin a decline as the calendar moves deeper into fall and early winter.

“If all goes well, I think we’ll see prices around $3.50 a gallon late in the year,” DeHaan said.

However, DeHaan warns that could be a big “if.” As always, much will depend on the usual villains, such as unrest in and among the major oil producers in the Middle East, plus Russia.

As of late Monday, gas prices in West-Central Illinois were around $4.20 a gallon, only a few cents cheaper than prices in and around Chicago but more expensive than most other downstate regions.

The Chicago area normally has the highest prices of any region of the state, due largely to added motor fuel and sales taxes.

“The state average (Monday) was $3.92, but (in the Chicago area), it was $4.21,” DeHaan said. 

The Chicago area average this year has been as high as $4.47, according to DeHaan.

Traditionally, gas prices tend to drop in the fall when demand begins to lessen and a cheaper blend of fuel is used for fall and winter months. That trend, however, is currently difficult to predict, DeHaan said, because of the uncertainty of some foreign countries in the process of cutting back production.

Helping explain the higher price of gas in Illinois (when compared to other regions, especially neighboring states like Missouri and Indiana) is that Illinoisans pay the second-highest gas taxes in the nation, according to the American Petroleum Institute. Only California has higher gas-related taxes than Illinois.

The U.S. is far less reliant on imported oil and petroleum products than it was in the past, but about one-fifth of the nation’s petroleum-related products come from the Middle East and Russia. About 12 percent of the imports come from Persian Gulf and about 7 percent of its oil products come from Russia.

Petroleum imports from Canada have increased significantly since the 1990s, and Canada is now the largest single source of U.S. total petroleum and crude oil imports. Canada is the source of about 52 percent of U.S. gross total petroleum imports and 60 percent of gross crude oil imports.

DeHaan also warned not to expect any relief from the price of diesel fuel, a key component of heating oil that will soon be in great demand once cold weather arrives in the coming weeks and months.

DeHaan has analyzed and tracked oil markets and fuel prices for almost two decades. DeHaan, a DePaul graduate, has a degree in business economics and has concentrated on downstream oil markets, including crude oil, gasoline, diesel and jet fuel since 2005.

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