News Local/State

Despite Short Term Dips, Gasoline Prices On The Rise: Analyst


Gasoline prices in downstate Illinois remain on an upward trend, despite some occasional dips.

Analyst Patrick DeHaan with the price-tracking website says the main driver of the price increases are oil refineries, as they perform seasonal maintenance, and make their annual switch from winter gasoline to more expensive summer blends.

“It’s fairly predictable”, said DeHaan. “Every year, we see prices begin increasing in February. And that usually lasts through April or May as refineries do that work.”

DeHaan says refineries are also subject to more breakdowns at this time of year, due to the cold weather, causing a drop in output until repairs can be made.

In Champaign-Urbana, reported a seven cents per gallon drop in the price of regular grade gasoline over the past week, leaving the average price at $2.17.9.

But DeHaan says last week’s price drop was a temporary departure from a continuing rise in gas prices, which produced a 27 cent increase in Champaign-Urbana over the past month. He’s predicting refinery issues to continue pushing gasoline prices higher over the next couple of months.

At that point, DeHaan believes gas prices will still be lower than a year ago, due to overall drops in crude oil prices.