Motorists really feel the ache on the pumps as fuel costs in Pittsburgh – CBS Pittsburgh – proceed to rise

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – If you’ve been filling up your gas tank recently, you’ve felt the sting of rising gas prices. Gasoline prices for the cheap stuff are now over $ 3 a gallon in the Pittsburgh area, about 45 cents a gallon more than a year ago when the pandemic started. Most of this increase has only been seen in the last few months.

Patrick DeHaan, Senior Oil Analyst at GasBuddy.com, says the problem is that COVID-19 numbers are falling and vaccinations are spreading rapidly.

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“Gasoline demand is at its highest level since the beginning of the pandemic. On the supply side, supply has not really recovered in recent months as demand has increased. Last week, OPEC decided to extend the production cuts compared to the previous year. ”

DeHaan says the problem started a year ago when we were all huddled together. “Refineries, oil companies, scaled back sharply to respond to the huge drop in demand when the pandemic hit gasoline demand. At one point last April, demand dropped 60%, causing refineries to slow down processing. Demand has increased since November, but the supply chain has not caught up. “

So is this a premature start to the usual summer gas price hike? “It could certainly be that if supply continues to lag behind growth and demand, then yes.”

That’s not good news when our gas tax price in the region is already $ 3.05.

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DeHaan says, “For Pittsburgh this summer. Well, like you mentioned, it’s already 305 per gallon. We could see prices rise another 25 cents a gallon, maybe even more, if we don’t quickly see crude oil production increasing. “

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He says right now it can cost money to always refuel at the same gas station when cheaper gasoline is just a few miles away. “That’s why it’s important for drivers to look around to avoid stations with higher costs or higher prices and to save money by refueling at a lower cost,” says DeHaan.

And as the price of gasoline goes up, it seems like daily, there is something to watch out for here. According to DeHaan, prices tend to be lower on Monday and Tuesday, and prices tend to rise towards the weekend. And the time of day also makes a difference. “At the moment, when prices are trending up, you can find that prices have been going up since the wee hours of the morning if you wait to get home. If I am, I’d probably refuel earlier in the morning. “

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That’s because gas stations get fresh supplies of fuel during the day and raise their prices to cover the increased cost of what they just received.

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