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Gas Prices To Continue Upward [AUDIO]

Flickr User PhlyingPenguin

You may have noticed, you’re paying a bit more at the gas pump these days. Those prices are expected to go even higher in March and April.

“We have a big bottom that we’re starting the year with and that leads to gasoline prices that are about $3.48 nationally and we’re around $3.43 in New Jersey,” said Tom Kloza, Chief Oil Analyst with the Oil Price Information Service.

“It’s been an unusual winter. We’ve never started February with prices this high for crude oil,” said Kloza. “You may have heard the price of crude quoted at $96, but that’s for land-locked trapped U-S crude. The real price that refiners on the coast are paying is closer to $115 per barrel.”

Refiners also switch from winter formulations to more expensive spring and summer mixes to meet stringent environmental standards. That in itself usually causes a spike in prices in the spring. “It’s much more difficult to make the gasoline that’s required in the United States from April 1 through September 15,” said Kloza. “Combine that with the closure of some of the refineries on the Delaware River and in St. Croix, the Virgin Islands and Europe and you’ve got a recipe for a spike.”

“I happen to think that we’ll spike up to about four dollars a gallon, but we won’t last there. Somewhere after Cinco de Mayo or Memorial Day weekend, prices will temper and get a little bit lower,” said Kloza. “We could even go under three dollars per gallon by September.”

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