SAN ANTONIO — Filling up an empty tank may not empty your wallet said GasBuddy’s 2023 fuel forecast report. Expect to pay about 10% to 15% less overall.
“There shouldn’t really be many situations where we’re worse off in 2023,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “I think the majority of scenarios we saw were dramatically better. Now, there could be some pain at the pump sprinkled in. So there are still going to be some bumps in the road which prices could go up. Bottom line, though, is we don’t expect prices to set new record levels in this coming year like we did last year.”
Prices are likely to be less, but not exactly cheap. It could be the second most expensive year for gas in a decade.
“The bottom line, enjoy the prices where they are today,” De Haan said.
One Texas oil and gas industry expert said prices in Texas could still reach $4 or more a gallon this year.
“We don’t have the supply,” said Jay Young, founder and CEO of King Operating. “The demand is going to be stronger. It’s going to push prices higher.”
Reasons for a price spike include more demand in China as the country reopens from COVID.
“That’s going to put a lot of demand globally for crude oil. When you break down a gallon of gas, most of that cost, more than half, is the cost of crude oil,” said Daniel Armbruster of AAA Texas. “So if crude oil goes back up, we will see fuel prices go back up.”
Also, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could increase prices.
“If Russia were to make a move that would impact crude oil supplies, that could have an impact here in the United States on gas prices,” Armbruster said.
Plus, weather is always a wildcard. Severe storms could shut down refineries, reducing the supply of gas.
“It can, of course, cause a delay in delivery of fuel and all sorts of items that are related to gasoline,” Armbruster said. “That, of course, can cause price spikes as well.”
Drivers also will continue to see seasonal price fluctuations such as the spring spike.
“As we get closer to summer, prices will go up as demand increases, and, of course, we switch over to summer blend gasoline, which is a little bit more expensive to produce,” said Armbruster.
“Prices are lower in the winter,” De Haan said. “They spring up in spring. They’re high in the summer and then they start to fall back off in the fall.”