STATEWIDE–If you’ve spent any time at the gas pump over the last week or two, you’ve probably noticed that gas prices have increased.
A lot of that has to do with OPEC and the coronavirus.
“Oil prices rebounded last week on word that OPEC members were closely considering cutting global oil production for several months to offset the decline in demand due to the coronavirus, pushing the national average marginally higher versus a week ago,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.
Refineries in Indiana and the rest of the Midwest are starting to liquidate some of the cheaper winter gasoline they have to get rid of, which is also contributing to higher gas prices.
“That’s normally something that happens this time of year. Basically, refineries in the Midwest, unlike most other regions have very limited ability to get those products out of the market. The coastal regions can export gasoline, while not so much in the Midwest, which is landlocked. To get rid of that gasoline that builds up over the winter, refineries start offering discounts. As they start selling through the excess of supply, those discounts start to slow down,” says DeHaan.
With many of those discounts gone and the price of oil going up, those two factors are also making you pay more at the pump. DeHaan, however, says it’s not all doom and gloom.
“Over the coming days in Indianapolis and Indiana, prices will probably trickle down for a good portion of this week. That could bring prices down into the $2.20’s or $2.30s. But ultimately, we may see prices going up every week to week and a half ahead of the summer now,” says DeHaan.
The average in Indianapolis is $2.49 per gallon. The statewide average is $2.44.