⛽ Gas prices have jumped 5-10 cents since Monday in New Jersey

⛽ Middle East tensions, Hurricane Beryl and high demand are all factors

⛽ The "right" track by Beryl could cause another spike

After a few weeks of declining prices, several factors are pushing the cost of gasoline back up to levels not seen in about a year.

According to the AAA, the average price per gallon jumped five cents between Monday and Tuesday in New Jersey. Gas Buddy petroleum analyst Patrick De Haan said it's likely to remain high through the end of summer.

"A lot of this is just the recent price of oil, which in the last three weeks is spiked by almost 15%. The price of oil now at $84 a barrel. Just three weeks ago we saw oil prices down in the low 70s. So it's been an incredibly short jump in the price of oil," De Haan told New Jersey 101.5.

De Haan said that ongoing tensions in the Middle East between Israel and Hamas, Central Banks in Europe and Canada cutting rates, shrinking global inventories caused by an increase in demand and a reduction in production by OPEC are just some of the factors.

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Hurricane Beryl on 7/2/24
Hurricane Beryl on 7/2/24 (National Hurricane Center)

The power of Mother Nature on gas prices

Then there's the risk created by Hurricane Beryl in the Gulf of Mexico, the earliest ever category five hurricane that could be the start of a busy hurricane season.

"A little bit of anxiety with his very early reminder of the power of Mother Nature, a lot of refineries down in Texas, Louisiana, and in Corpus Christi, in southern Texas. Should a hurricane threaten that infrastructure we could see gas prices accelerating," De Haan said.

De Haan predicts prices could jump at least another 5 to 10 cents over the next couple of weeks pending the track of Beryl. The "right" track could lead to a quick increase of 25-50 cents per gallon. Prices will likely head down again in September.

"We will likely see gas prices reverse in the fall. They tend to do that because then demand does start to decrease. And prices tend to moderate after we switch back to cheaper winter gasoline in mid-September," De Haan said.

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