BOSTON — Drivers who've seen the price of gas go up in recent weeks can expect that trend to continue.
Industry watchdog GasBuddy says the extreme cold now gripping much of the country has impacted at least a dozen refineries with nearly 20 percent of the total capacity currently offline.
GasBuddy says the national average price of gas may jump 10-20 cents per gallon from its current price of $2.54 per gallon over the next two weeks. An increase to $2.65-$2.75 per gallon would lead to the highest prices seen since 2019 and the highest seasonal prices in over five years.
“The quicker the affected refineries are able to come back online, the better, and perhaps less painful for motorists than if they remain out of service for even longer,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “Oil prices have continued to rally as global oil demand recovers from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and now the extreme cold weather shutting refineries down, us motorists just can’t seem to catch a break. We probably won’t see much, if any relief, anytime soon.”
GasBuddy is also warning drivers to expect that the national average could rise closer to $3 a gallon closer to Memorial Day weekend as refineries switch over to summer fuels.
Here are some tips to help you save money next time you fill up your tank:
- Shop around: Gas prices can vary as much as $1 per gallon in metropolitan areas. Searching for the best gas prices before filling up with tools like the free GasBuddy app can ensure drivers pay the lowest price.
- Drive mindfully: Aggressive driving can reduce gas mileage by as much as 40 percent
- Pay and save: Joining a gas station loyalty program or using payments services like Pay with GasBuddy can save drivers hundreds of dollars per year on gas.