“I think for the first time in three years Grand Rapids has the lowest odds of seeing $4 a gallon that we’ve had in the last few years.
That’s not to say it won’t happen. As Senior Petroleum Analyst at GasBuddy.com, DeHaan admits he’s no Jeanne Dixon or Amazing Kreskin.
“We may not spend a whole lot of time north of $4 a gallon.”
No new records will be set. West Michigan peaked at $4.09 a gallon last year…$4.29 in 2011.
“Gas prices in June in Grand Rapids in 2012 got all the way down into the low $3 a gallon range. I believe we saw about $3.30, $3.29 a gallon in June, that’s the recipe this year. Pain at the pump will begin mid to late march, last through May, prices come down into June. So if you’re looking at taking that vacation, take it in the month of June, late in June, or very early July prices will probably pop back up later in summer to coincide with the hurricane season.”
With so many variables affecting his forecast, DeHaan is keeping his eye on one particular wildcard: Refining capacity.
“The good news is that the refinery in northwest Indiana at BP’s facility just outside Gary is supposed to wrap up a massive expansion here in the second half of 2013. That is supposed to add a considerable amount of gasoline and supply everyday. There may be some hiccups before that facility comes online and that’s a concern.”
And of course, per the script, prices will rise in March and April as those refineries conduct maintenance and begin switching over to mandated summer blends.
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