New Jersey is ending 2012 with gasoline prices at their lowest point of the year. On the bright side, prices at the pump are lower than they have been. However, 2012's low point is the highest ever in New Jersey.

What will you pay to fill up in 2013? Next year may be a tale of two halves. According to Tom Kloza, Chief Oil Analyst at the Oil Price Information Service in Wall Township, prices next year will start with a "sugar rush" and eventually dip to pleasantly-low levels after a springtime scare.

Tom Merton, Getty Images

"We'll move a little bit higher, and then in the spring, we'll have a dose of what I call 'petranoia,' when everybody believes this will be the year that we don't have enough fuel," Kloza predicted. "We'll start to hear stories about whether or not we're going to have enough fuel for the driving season; we will."

Kloza said New Jersey could see a high point of about $3.75, which is still lower than the amount at which prices peaked earlier this year in April.

"Then I think prices are going to ease," Kloza continued. "I wouldn't be surprised if, in the New Jersey area for example, we get some numbers below $3.00 in the second half of the year."

He said North America has much cheaper crude than the rest of the world, which accounts for discounted prices at the pump for the next couple of years.

One pleasant "consequence" of going over the fiscal cliff next week, which appears more and more likely as the year-end deadline approaches, would be lower prices for gasoline. While drivers may be dealing with increased unemployment and a looming recession, oil prices would drop in the United States and internationally.

"It's like having the flu. That's going to help you lose weight. That's not the kind of good news you want," Kloza joked.


Lowest Gas Prices in New Jersey
New Jersey Gas Prices provided by