U.S. gas prices could rise to almost $3.80 per gallon before peaking, according to new data from GasBuddy reported exclusively by CNN.
According to the forecast data, the national average would rise to $3.41 per gallon in 2022, up from this year's average of $3.02 per gallon. The peak could come in May 2022, at $3.79 per gallon.
That's considerably higher than what the federal government projects for prices at the pump. Earlier this month, the Energy Information Administration forecast in its Short-Term Energy Outlook that the average retail price for gasoline next year would fall to $2.88 from $3.00 this year.
Gasoline prices remained elevated for much of the year, only beginning to slide lower earlier this month. According to the AAA, however, the decline was not necessarily sustainable.
"Consumers may be catching a break at the pump right now, but it's not for a very good reason," AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said in early December. "A potential COVID-19 induced economic slowdown hurts everyone and could prompt OPEC to slash production if oil prices drop too low," Gross added.
This week, GasBuddy's head of petroleum analysis Patrick De Haan tweeted that last week had seen the largest decline in the national average, at $0.043 per gallon, adding that in most parts of the U.S., prices were likely to continue down this week with the exception of the Great Lake states where prices could inch up.
"We could see a national average that flirts with, or in a worst-case scenario, potentially exceeds $4 a gallon," De Haan told CNN with regard to 2022 prices. As of Monday, the national average, per AAA data cited by CNN, was $3.29 per gallon.
"The economy is hot. Demand has come roaring back. But supply is still catching up after getting cut greatly in 2020," De Haan also told CNN.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:
- Cocaine, Guns And Gushers: Colombia’s Oil Industry Struggles To Reactivate
- Waste Disposal Back In The Spotlight As America Ramps Up Nuclear Sector
- Brazil Rushes Ahead With Key Oil Projects As Prices Remain Elevated