Gas prices are up for the third straight week, and GasBuddy analyst Patrick De Haan is “afraid the worst is yet to come.”
“With several major refinery issues persisting across various regions, the eventual transition to summer gasoline is likely to continue to put upward pressure on prices, with larger weekly increases likely coming in March and April,” said De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, which is reporting on Monday that the average price of a gallon is gas is up 5.2 cents nationwide, to $3.17 a gallon.
The average in Virginia is up 6.7 cents per gallon, to $3.11.
De Haan is optimistic that the upcoming increases in prices will be “average,” but there is potential for a “spring squeeze.”
“The fact that we’ve already seen a few high level refinery problems doesn’t bode well for the spring squeeze, and is a reminder to motorists that without the critical role that refineries play, we could see a bumpy transition to EPA-mandated summer gasoline,” De Haan said.