Gas prices in Arizona stable but volatility of market makes future hard to predict, analyst says
PHOENIX — The price people pay at the pump in Arizona has stabilized over the past month, and while a gas analyst doesn’t see a spike coming soon, the volatility of the petroleum market makes the future hard to predict.
“I don’t see anything coming down the pipeline yet, so to speak, and there’s a lot of high-level issues that could flare up,” Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.com, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Monday.
“There’s a lot of unknowns given the possibility of the pandemic flaring up and the Russia war in Ukraine and how the EU (European Union) might respond.”
DeHaan added it’s not impossible that drivers may see higher prices at the pump, but he said “issues haven’t yet materialized to warrant a concern that we’ll see a spike just yet.”
The average in Arizona is $4.56 per gallon, according to AAA, about four cents lower than last week and five cents cheaper than last month. It is much higher than a year ago, however, when the average price for a gallon of gas in the state was $3.06.
Gas prices nationally have also been stable, albeit much lower than in Arizona, currently at $4.08 per gallon and 19 cents cheaper than last month.
DeHaan said oil prices have been volatile, with the price of a barrel up $14 from a week ago but still down by about $27 from the peak.
“But what has gone up has come down and what has gone down has come back up,” he said. “So it’s kind of negated any retail price changes.”
As for what might happen in the coming weeks, that is anyone’s guess as DeHaan said the issues driving the price of gas causes the near future to be unpredictable.
“It goes to a lot of politics and just a lot of unknowns,” he said. “There’s not a whole lot of predictable factors in the market today because of all of these kind of abnormal events happening.”
DeHaan did say he foresees diesel prices continuing to remain challenged longer than gasoline with inventories globally being extremely tight.
“I would not expect a whole lot of improvement in diesel anytime soon,” he said.