HARRISBURG, Pa. — After hitting record highs earlier in the summer, gas prices have begun to fall. However, prices likely won’t go down to pre-February levels in the near future, economists say.
When Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, the country braced for higher gas prices. As the war continues, prices remain elevated.
The energy market, though, is beginning to adapt. Oil refineries have begun to ramp up production to pre-pandemic levels.
The average price in Pennsylvania is currently $4.64 per gallon, down 38 cents from the average a month ago, $5.03, according to data from AAA.
Oil prices remain volatile while they’re caught between competing influences. Western sanctions on Russia could disrupt supply and drive the price up, while fears of an upcoming recession could weaken demand for fuel and drive the price down.
Another factor is hurricane season, which raises the possibility of oil refineries needing to close temporarily.
“I’m hopeful that maybe by the end of the year, if things go our way, we could see Pennsylvania even returning to some $4 prices at some stations, maybe even the average,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy said. “But again, there are a lot of hurdles that could be thrown at us that could potentially derail that possibility.”
The still relatively high gas prices come amid the high demand summer travel season, when many people drive to vacation destinations.