Michigan Agency for Energy expects price per gallon of gasoline will be slightly higher than in 2016, supply will be ample

May 24, 2017

Michigan Agency for Energy expects price per gallon of gasoline will be slightly higher than in 2016, supply will be ample

LANSING, Mich. – As drivers finalize plans for their Memorial Day and summer vacations, they can expect to pay slightly more for a gallon of gasoline than they did last year, according to a Summer Fuel Price Appraisal released today by the Michigan Agency for Energy (MAE).

Those who drive diesel fuel vehicles will see a bigger bump in prices at the pumps compared to a year ago.

Based on federal Energy Information Administration forecasts, the average price per gallon of unleaded gasoline nationwide is expected to be $2.39 during the summer driving season, which runs through September, according to the MAE report. That’s an increase of 16 cents per gallon over summer 2016. That would add about $160 to how much the average household spends annually on gasoline.

Behind the increase is an uptick in crude oil prices following an agreement by OPEC to limit output, unexpected infrastructure outages, and the start of seasonal maintenance at refineries in the region. Helping the supply of gasoline is the completion of the Detroit Metro Access Pipeline in southern Michigan by the Wolverine Pipeline Co. In March, the 35-mile line started transporting gasoline and diesel fuel from Chicago to Detroit.

Michigan drivers are expected to use 0.2 percent more gasoline this year, according to the Summer Fuel Price Appraisal, the fifth year in a row consumption has increased.

Regional gas inventories are up 1 million gallons over last year, to 55.9 million, which should help to moderate price increases as more drivers take to the road this summer. Crude oil stocks in the Midwest are 3.5 percent higher than last year and reached 158 million barrels in late April.

Diesel fuel prices are forecast by the EIA to rise steadily to an average of $2.69 per gallon nationally, up 38 cents from 2016.

MAE predicts that with a strong supply of crude oil, increased gasoline inventories and a new supply pipeline serving the Detroit area – and absent unexpected infrastructure or supply problems – the price and supply of petroleum products will remain stable for the rest of this year. The Upper Peninsula, however, is expected to continue to feel the effect of the closure of the West Shore Pipe Line in Wisconsin, which has strained supplies to the region.

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For more information about MAE, please visit www.michigan.gov/energy or sign up for its listservs to keep up on MAE matters.

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