Energy

Americans Can Expect Lower Gas Prices in 2024

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Gasoline prices fell sharply in the second half of 2023. GasBuddy expects more of the same next year. Its experts forecast the price of a gallon of regular will average $3.38 nationwide in 2024, down from $3.51 in 2023.

The drop will not be uniform. The price will be lower at about $3 in the next two or three months. Winter demand for gas is expected to be low. Crude prices are near their 52-week low price of $72 a barrel. Oil continues to be the largest component of gasoline prices by far. Demand for gas is expected to rise in summer as more people drive. It could move up close to $4 nationwide in the warmer months. (See the price of gasoline through the decades.)

GasBuddy experts do not expect prices to be near the levels they hit when crude was $100 over a year ago. Patrick De Haan, GasBuddy’s petroleum analysis head, commented, “As 2023 fades away, I’m hopeful those $5 and $6 prices for gasoline and diesel will also fade into memory.” However, prices in several states, particularly California, will stay near those levels. This is partly because the state’s gas taxes are among the highest in America.

Oil prices have been helped by rising U.S. production, which, to some extent, is because of increased fracking, a relatively new way to drill for crude. OPEC+ recently cut production. So far, the U.S. production has more than offset that move.

GasBuddy’s 2024 Fuel Outlook does not say much about the big risks to oil prices. As has been the case for decades, geopolitical issues, particularly in the Middle East, can cut supply. If that happens, gasoline prices could rise again swiftly.

For now, GasBuddy expects a quiet year for oil and, thus, the same for gas.

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