GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — As the summer driving season comes to an end, an industry expert predicts West Michigan drivers may see lower gas prices at the pump this fall.
As of Tuesday, the average price for a gallon of gas in Grand Rapids was $3.63, which is down 6 cents, according to Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.
Over the next two weeks, De Hann says he is monitoring how much gasoline flows from the Midwest’s largest refinery, BP Whiting, now that it is back online after being shut down due to a fire on Aug. 24.
“I’m hopeful this fall will feature lower prices and falling prices. The question is the next one to two weeks as product starts flowing from the BP refinery. It’s not impossible that we could see a price reset or price increase,” De Haan said Tuesday.
De Haan’s advice for drivers is to hold off from filling up for the next couple of days. However, if you need gas, he says only buy a few gallons because of the current tight supply due to the refinery fire.
“Eventually, as we approach Halloween, I do think that there is still the potential that some of these stations are going to get very close to $2.99 a gallon and maybe more so by the end of the year so long as we don’t see a major hurricane,” he said.
De Haan said he does not see prices reaching the high seen earlier this year of more than $5 a gallon, but it all depends on the Atlantic hurricane season.
“I think it’s pretty clear that our highwater mark for the year is in. So unless we get a whole slew of problems all at the same time, we should not revisit those highs. But we still could see prices going back above $4 a gallon if there is a major hurricane that enters the Gulf of Mexico. So that would be the bad news,” De Haan said.