Average gas prices in the Buffalo area have risen about 4 cents per gallon in the past week. A new GasBuddy survey reports Buffalo’s prices are averaging only three cents higher than the national average of $2.81. Historically, the price disparity is larger.
Senior petroleum analyst Jeff Pelton said the region generally faces higher prices because it is located at the end of the petroleum pipeline, a factor that adds to overall costs.
The most recent gas price increase is due to refinery outages in the East, Pelton told WBFO. This put a crimp in the supply, leading to a 7 million barrel draw on crude oil last Wednesday.
However, Pelton said this factor doesn’t accurately depict the United States’ amount of crude oil. He said the U.S. currently has a 475 million barrel supply, a 75-year high.
Pelton said Americans should anticipate decreases in prices over time, but he added it is taking longer than expected.
“It’s very fickle, the petroleum industry, and how it reacts to supply and demand,” Pelton said. “What you should see is when this 475 million barrels of crude becomes gasoline, you’re going to see that gasoline is going to flood the market, and you should see prices drop.”