What do experts predict will happen with gas prices in 2023?

Posted at 6:56 AM, Jan 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-04 08:15:35-05

Gas prices aren't nearly as bad as what we saw last year, but they are on the rise once again, and the big question is: will the lower prices stick around?

As of Wednesday, prices in metro Detroit are around $3.23 per gallon, which is 16 cents more than last week, but a far cry from when prices peaked at $5.31 over the summer.

Experts say they expect prices to creep back up once warmer weather sets in, but they think prices will still be lower overall compared to last year.

Patrick De Haan, the lead petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, said there are three factors that could drive up prices.

The first is what happens in China as they deal with a surge in COVID-19 cases. Next, the war in Ukraine. Any volatility could push prices up. Finally, making sure refinery options meet demand.

"There remains a lot of wild cards, expect a lot of volatility, but don't expect prices to get to the record territory that we saw in 2022," he said. "It's not a guarantee that we won't hit record highs, but it less likely this year."

So, how do metro Detroiters feel about this? Michael Brown, a handyman out of Fort Wayne, Indiana, was visiting family over the holidays when we ran into him at a gas station in Southfield.

So the higher gas prices have impacted your business then?" I asked.

"Yes big time, it definitely impacted my business, because I travel you know maybe 10 or 15 miles out to work and that's a lot of gas," he said.

He's not the only person feeling pain at the pump.

"Ridiculous, I got to use premium gas and it's high," Anthony Coleman, from Pontiac said.

According to De Haan, you should expect prices to increase a bit in the spring and the summer. Summer blend gasoline is more expensive and demand to drive is higher in the summer.

De Haan said this year, a new refinery is opening in Texas, which could help meet the increase in demand.