Gas prices expected to reach $4 by summer

Gasoline prices could spike at $4 per gallon before summer, a top fuel market analyst says. And that may just be the beginning of super-higher prices.

If the price of oil goes above $130 per barrel, “it puts the $4 gallon apocalyptic national average squarely in the cross hairs as less of a rogue price and more of a routine number,” said Tom Kloza, senior analyst with the New Jersey-based Oil Price Information Service.

After weeks of predicting that national average prices would peak in the $3.75 range, Kloza on Wednesday conceded the $4 possibility after the benchmark price of crude oil set a record, $123.53 per barrel, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

A year ago, oil was $61.47 per barrel, Kloza noted, meaning its price has more than doubled.

The OPIS/AAA average price in Greater Cleveland and Akron Wednesday was $3.56 to $3.59. The national average price was $3.62. Connecticut was at $3.88; California and Alaska were more than $3.90.

The jump in crude prices Wednesday occurred despite the weekly U.S. Department of Energy report showing an increase both in gasoline and oil stockpiles.

To see the whole story written by John Funk, go to The Plain Dealer Business Blog.

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