Gas spike ahead, analysts say

Gas prices at Golden Gate Petroleum were 3.259 for regular unleaded and 3.799 for diesel.

Gas prices at Golden Gate Petroleum were 3.259 for regular unleaded and 3.799 for diesel.

Gasoline pump prices locally and nationally blipped up as of late and are seen heading even higher as winter wanes, according to projections.

AAA said in a fuel gauge report this week that the national gas pump price for unleaded regular was $3.29 a gallon. In Carson City, $3.299 was the price at the ARCO am/pm station at Carson and Seventh streets, just south of the Ormsby House, on Wednesday. Some other stations checked in the city Wednesday posted prices in a range from $3.199 to $3.399.

At Costco on the city’s south edge, the price was $3.199, but it had been lower a week or so ago at $3.159.

Nationally, similar prospects appeared possible going by reports from both AAA and

“Gasoline is likely to be considerably more expensive over the next 45 days,” according to a report Wednesday. Analysts cited were Patrick DeHaan and Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analysts, and Tom Koza, chief oil analyst. One factor mentioned in the report was pent-up demand.

“There’s no denying that year-to-date motor fuel demand has been poor,” the report said, “but it can clearly be blamed on inclement weather.”

The report also delved into historical precedent, saying the average winter-to-spring gas futures the past three decades ran 57 percent. Though the report said this year’s will trail that aggressive figure, a modest 25 percent rally would produce upward pump price pressures.

The AAA report from Michael Green also noted the cold and other factors kept gas pump prices flat early this year but said increased demand and seasonal switches will end that as they have in previous years.

Green, public relations manager, indicated AAA “expects the national average to rise to $3.55-$3.75 before heading lower into the summer.” He said the hike could be even more dramatic “if unexpected issues raise their heads.”

Bob Darbelnet, AAA president and CEO, made similar points. He said the January trend may not last much longer, making trips to the gas station “more frustrating as prices increase this spring.”

Locally, Wednesday’s random survey of prices included not only Costco’s $3.119 and Arco’s downtown $3.200, but also: Prices from $3.249 at the Maverick station on East College Parkway near the freeway bypass; $3.259 at JM Gasoline and Market, 1321 N. Carson St., at Golden Gate Petroleum on Highway 50 just east of the freeway bypass, and at the 7-11 Gasoline and Convenient Store, 3701 N. Carson St.; $3.379 at Bob’s Shell, 705 N. Carson St., and $3.399 at Carson City Shell, 1600 N. Carson St.


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