MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — An analyst with GasBuddy.com expected the price of fuel to steadily continue to rise over the course of the next month and a half. Patrick De Haan appeared on MetroNews Talkline Tuesday and said the present price increase for gasoline can be blamed on a number of factors. The catalyst which started the current surge was last year’s shutdown amid the pandemic.
“That really upended everything and it was just that two to four weeks the economy shutdown did a tremendous amount of damage,” he explained.
Adding to the problems now are a coal shortage in China and a natural gas shortage in Europe. Both are being offset by oil which is increasing demand and driving up the price.
.@GasBuddyGuy, Head of Petroleum Analysis for GasBuddy, joins @HoppyKercheval to discuss the rise in gasoline prices and what’s been going on behind the scenes to cause it. WATCH: https://t.co/wkudfIRZCB pic.twitter.com/jIPIwkMTtq
— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) October 12, 2021
“Oil production plummeted in March and April of 2020 and it’s been very slow to pick back up. Of course during the pandemic, demand plummeted by 60 percent and prices fell negative for the first time ever. The depth of that valley is why it’s taking so long to climb back up the ladder,” he explained.
Here in West Virginia the average price for fuel is $3.12 a gallon. That’s up three cents in the past week, 12 cents from a month ago, and almost a dollar more a gallon since last year.
De Haan did add the price in West Virginia is very regional and gasoline can be found in some places under $3 a gallon in western counties of the state.
“Being a little closer to Kentucky has a little bit cheaper oil since a lot of that crude oil can flow in from the Great Lakes and a lot of those Great Lakes refineries process the cheaper Canadian crude oil,” he explained.
Looking at the near term, De Haan expected the price of gasoline to continue a slow climb through at least the end of November. When December arrived he said there is hope supply will have caught up with the other energy demands in China and Europe to hopefully turn the prices downward.