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Gas Buddy predicts 'ugly' price increases in coming weeks

Gas Buddy's weekly update predicts Russia's threat to the Ukraine could enhance the usual price increases associated with the switch to summer fuel mix.

INDIANAPOLIS — Gas prices continue to climb in Indianapolis and throughout the United States as the world watches Russia's next move at the Ukraine border.

Market analysts are warning that with demand on an upswing ahead of spring travel, a Russian incursion is likely to drive pump prices even higher for U.S. consumers.

In Monday's weekly update from GasBuddy.com, petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan said, "With tensions still very high that Russia may invade Ukraine, gasoline prices kept moving higher, tugged by the rising price of oil as the market concentrates on possible outcomes from the situation that could affect global oil production amidst recovering demand." 

DeHaan also said the weeks ahead could get "ugly" because of the traditional start of the spring surge in gasoline prices brought on by the seasonal change to summer gasoline mix, scheduled maintenance at refineries and rising travel demand.  

There is a ray of good news, though. "With nuclear talks between Iran and global powers ongoing in Vienna, the possibility exists that a new deal could bring Iran's crude oil supply back to legitimate markets, helping to ease a slight portion of supply concerns," DeHaan said.

In Indianapolis, gas prices have risen 4.2 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.36/gallon on Monday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 653 stations in Indianapolis. Gas prices in Indianapolis are 22.5 cents per gallon higher than a month ago and stand 73.9 cents per gallon higher than a year ago.

Prices have not reached above $3 for a gallon of gas during February in Indianapolis since 2014.

For historical perspective, these are GasBuddy's pump prices for the last week of February in Indianapolis for the past ten years:

  • Feb. 21, 2021: $2.62/g (U.S. Average: $2.63/g)
  • Feb. 21, 2020: $2.38/g (U.S. Average: $2.48/g)
  • Feb.  21, 2019: $2.43/g (U.S. Average: $2.40/g)
  • Feb.  21, 2018: $2.38/g (U.S. Average: $2.52/g)
  • Feb.  21, 2017: $2.23/g (U.S. Average: $2.28/g)
  • Feb.  21, 2016: $1.69/g (U.S. Average: $1.71/g)
  • Feb.  21, 2015: $2.17/g (U.S. Average: $2.28/g)
  • Feb.  21, 2014: $3.43/g (U.S. Average: $3.38/g)
  • Feb.  21, 2013: $3.80/g (U.S. Average: $3.78/g)
  • Feb.  21, 2012: $3.46/g (U.S. Average: $3.57/g)

RELATED: US consumer prices soared 7% in past year, most since 1982

According to GasBuddy and AAA, Indiana prices are still cheaper than the national average price per gallon, which averaged $3.51/gallon on Monday on GasBuddy and $3.53/gallon on AAA.com The national average is 88.6 cents per gallon higher than a year ago.

RELATED: Conserve gas by adopting these driving habits

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