Experts warn gas prices likely to climb higher before coming back down

Author: Katherine Cook (KGW)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KGW) — After weeks of relief at the pump, gas prices are rising once again. According to AAA Oregon, the statewide average in Oregon has jumped 35 cents per gallon in the last week to land at $5.01.

It’s the first time Oregon has topped $5 since August, but far from the $5.54 it saw in June, Oregon’s highest recorded average price per gallon.

In Washington, the average price rose 30 cents to $4.92 but nationwide, the national average only went up by a nickel.

So, what gives?

Marie Dodds with AAA Oregon said that in general, gas prices on the West Coast are always a little bit higher than the rest of the country due to tight supplies. She said when there’s a glitch in supply or distribution, gas prices can climb.

“That’s exactly what we’re seeing this week,” Dodds said. “We have a handful of refineries in California in the Los Angeles area that are undergoing unplanned maintenance that can take several days. They’re also having issues at a refinery in Washington state.”

On top of that, Dodds said the Olympic pipeline is due for maintenance in the next couple weeks. She said some of the planned maintenance at refineries includes switching over from their summer blend to winter-blend gasoline.

Dodds said several factors suggest gas prices will eventually come down by late fall or winter but it’s unclear by how much. She warned gas prices are likely to get worse before they get better.

“Hang on, buckle up, because it’s a bumpy ride over the next couple of weeks with these supply issues and these refinery issues,” Dodds said.

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