As the new year begins, many New Jersey drivers are wondering what will happen to prices at the pump in the coming weeks and months.

According to Patrick De Haan, the head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, the arctic blast that hit New Jersey and much of the nation a couple of weeks ago caused several major refineries to shut down, and that resulted in a sudden spike in fuel prices.

He said moving forward, “we’re hopeful that while there may be some spikes in the spring, that overall we should be able to avoid a record-setting year at the pump in the year ahead.”

The report predicts the average price for a gallon of gas is likely to be 50 cents lower this year compared to last.

⛽ NJ prices staying low?

He said the way things look right now, “we could see some of these lower prices stick around for January and February. Perhaps the average price will stay in the low $3 a gallon range.”

China has started lifting its zero COVID lockdown policy, “which could boost oil consumption, and if that comes to fruition — China fully re-opening — that could mean prices spend the next month or two in the mid $3 range instead of the low $3 range," he said.

gas pump
dkhoriaty ThinkStock

⛽ Going up

De Haan said after that, “we do see prices starting to go up in March, April, lasting potentially through Memorial Day, when New Jersey will likely see prices back over the $4 a gallon mark.”

He said with improvements in refining capacity there will be enough to avoid those $5 and $6 a gallon prices at the pump.

“But there still is a potential that should something drastic happen between Russia and Ukraine or OPEC or the U.S. economy.It’s not impossible that we see record prices, just improbable for now.”

He also said one of the major factors impacting what we pay for gas this year "could be whether or not we see an economic slowdown, which could also lead to a slowdown in growth and consumption of oil and gasoline, thus limiting the price increases this year."

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

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