Addressing Annual Summer Gas Price Jump

By Max Resnik

February 9, 2012 Updated Feb 9, 2012 at 1:32 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – With winter winding down and spring in sight, some analysts are once again predicting $4 for a gallon gas by the beginning of summer.

One reason for the annual belt-tightening prediction is continued unrest in the Middle East. Added to that, refineries will switch their formulations to meet stricter environmental standards as demand in fuel increases with better weather.

Michael Himes, CEO of Petroleum Traders, says he is not buying the notion that gas could catapult 60 cents between now and May. He says analysts make too many predictions.

“They're bound to be right on some, same as they're going to be wrong on some. This one feels like they're going to be wrong. There's absolutely nothing fundamental in supply right now that would support rising prices, let alone 60 cents a gallon.”

Himes says analysts, as well as consumers, too often fall into making $4 per gallon gas a self-fulfilling prophecy. He says industry standards and consumer standards should not be the same.

“That seems to be the scenario every year as we come up to July 4. I think it’s an industry standard. Unfortunately, it shouldn’t be a consumer standard.”

And when it comes to measuring the impacts of Middle East tension, especially in Syria, Himes says those impacts are not always an indication of price.

“Yes, it gets used a lot- Mid East Tensions to hyperventilate prices to the upside. By the same token, it varies a lot. Right now, what’s going on in Syria doesn’t really seem to have significant impact on oil prices.”

Himes says high pump prices are inevitable, but he is not buying the idea of a 60 cent rise.

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