If you want to know where gas prices are headed, GasBuddy suggests that you keep an eye on the tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
“Russia is the second-largest oil producer globally. They could weaponize oil should there be an invasion of Ukraine followed by the U.S. responding with sanctions. There is a lot at risk that in the end there could be a disruption to the normal flow of oil. That’s why oil and gas prices have gone up,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.
Demand for gas has gone recently with more people staying inside because of the recent winter weather, but when temperatures warm up, that will change.
“It is temporary, but it is not enough to pull prices down. Once we start seeing a progression to warmer weather, we’ll likely see demand go back up in force. Also keep in mind that as we transition to summer gasoline, a lot of the winter gasoline we’ll have to be purged out of the system. For now, all eyes are on geopolitical tensions,” said DeHaan.
Winter gasoline is cheaper than summer gasoline. That summer gasoline is higher-grade fuel that can add up to 15 cents per gallon to the cost of your fill-up. This excludes the increased cost due to summer fuel demand, which can vary between 5-15c/gal, depending on the region.
At one point last week, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil prices were at $93 per barrel, but they have dropped slightly since then.
If you are asking yourself, “When is the best time for me to fill up?”, DeHaan says that is a question that requires a complicated answer.
“Prices are trickling back down after they cycled higher late last week, so be patient. Prices could go back up based on what’s happening overseas with Russia, so just keep an eye on that,” said DeHaan.
What could help is additional oil production that would make things easier on refineries.
“It’s not impossible that we could see additional oil production coming online if there is a deal amongst western powers and Iran. That is completely separate to what is going on in Russia, so there are a lot of moving parts here,” said DeHaan.
As of Wednesday morning, GasBuddy said the statewide average for gas was $3.36. It is $3.36 in Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers, and Greenwood. It is $3.35 in Fort Wayne and $3.30 in Evansville.