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Gas Prices Remain Relatively Low in Indiana

So much for those $3.00 per gallon gas prices, though an analyst says prices in this part of the country remain relatively low.  

The price of gas across central Indiana rebounded roughly a day after prices as low as 2.97 a gallon appeared at some stations.  While we are usually told that the price of oil is the leading factor in the price we pay for gas, one analyst says that's not entirely the case around here.  "Indiana and the other Great Lakes states, along with Ohio and Kentucky, represent the greatest price volatility in the United States," said Greg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst with  "It's characterized by what the federal government calls price cycling, where a couple of the dominant players can bring prices as low as they think they can go.  Then, rather than have a slow increase, they raise prices 25 cents or more overnight."  Competitors, Laskoski says, tend to follow the market leaders' price, both going up and coming down.

The current price of oil has edged slightly higher, but Laskoski says that isn't have much of an effect on U.S. gas prices because refineries in this country are producing large amounts of oil.  Given that oil is one of the major parts of the ongoing dispute between Russia and Ukraine, he says there is a chance world oil prices could rise, though he doesn't believe it will affect the U.S. in the short run. "Because of the strong domestic production and the tremendous amount of lower cost crude we can import from Canada and Mexico, we are somewhat insulated from events in Russia, as well as those in Iraq.  Had this occur four or five years ago, those crises would have driven oil prices much higher," Laskoski says.

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