Should you fill up now, or wait till the weekend?

Gasoline prices in New Jersey have been shooting higher lately and drivers are trying to figure out what’s going to happen next.

According to Tom Kloza, the global head of energy analysis for the Oil Price Information Service, the recent uptick in the cost of gas only really represents a price wobble.

"You’re really paying for some of the tightness we saw in refining operations at the end of October, but that’s come to an end," he said.

⛽ What's next?

He said for the next few weeks, “you’ll see probably prices will be about where they are or drift down a little bit.”

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After that, he said, “it will be much more comfortable as you go into the real holiday shopping season, and then in January demand goes down the toilet and you’ll probably see some price drops then."

“Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it used to be that demand would go up a little bit, but now with people doing online shopping, it doesn’t rev up demand as much for gasoline.

Gas prices at the pump
Karimala GettyImages

📈 Why have prices been bouncing up and down lately?

He said this is happening because of “the number of people that use it, and really the low inventories that you have of gasoline basically in the country, and particularly in the Northeast. We just don’t have the storage we had 10 or 20 years ago.”

He said capacity these days is very quick to empty and very quick to fill.

“I think we’re in that cycle now where the storage will get filled up and the prices will start coming down, just when people need a little bit more money to spend.”

🔮 Looking down the road

“About 100 days from now we’re going to be able to make a statement we haven’t made for a while, which is I’m paying less for gasoline today than I was a year ago," he said.

“By March of 2023 I suspect we may see a lot of states in the country where prices are cheaper than they were a year ago, gasoline inflation will be tamed.”

Kloza said while gas prices should drift downward, the price of diesel will continue to soar.

“Premium gasoline is kind of in short supply because of some of the components that are necessary to raise octane, so that’ll be expensive.”

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