Gas Prices 2022: When Will Fuel Costs Go Down?
Recent surges in gas prices have had many RVers rethinking their summer vacations plans. A lot of us will be staying closer to home this summer. Many RVers are even forgoing their summer RV travel plans entirely. But recent drops in oil prices already have gas prices dropping in most areas of the country, with the exception of California, where they have increased by 8 cents.
According to AAA, the current national average for a gallon of regular gas is $4.27, six cents cheaper than it was a week ago. In California, the price of a gallon of gas climbed to 5.80. They are still nowhere near normal prices, but it’s a little relief for now. But how long will these lower fuel prices last?
What causes fluctuations in gas prices?
Supply and demand
The vast majority of the increase in gas prices is a direct result of an increase in oil prices. Oil prices fluctuate with the supply and demand for oil products.
During the pandemic, people traveled less. The result was a reduced demand for oil and fairly stable oil prices, which were reflected in stable prices at the pump. The end of the pandemic saw people going back to work and getting back to traveling more than they did in the pandemic years. This resulted in a greater demand for oil products, and prices shot up phenomenally.
The war in Ukraine
Most people know that the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine is creating an increased demand for fuel in much of Western Europe. A recent development in the conflict is the complete withdrawal of USA-owned Halliburton company from Russia.
Halliburton joins the 2 other American-owned oilfield technology suppliers who have already withdrawn from Russia due to sanctions. Halliburton has already ceased shipments of machinery and parts that were integral to Russia’s ability to continue producing oil. This will definitely reduce the amount of oil Russia is able to produce. Since Russia is one of the world’s leading oil producers, the result on world oil prices could be significant.
Any event that reduces gasoline production capacities at refineries will have a negative impact on gasoline supplies. Low gasoline supplies mean higher gas prices at the pump. February’s winter storm in Texas saw refinery utilization plunge from 83% down to 56%. By the beginning of March, the result of this was higher gas prices.
When will gas prices go down?
While prices may be reduced by a little for the coming months, summer will see increased demand for fuel. This is only because people travel more in the summer months.
The Russia’s ongoing war and decreased production of oil will also increase the demand for oil products, including gasoline. Prices for gasoline should ease a bit by November 2022 as domestic demand eases and winter gas blends become available.
Winter gas is cheaper to produce, so that tends to be reflected in the price. Over the long term, we won’t hold our breath for gas prices to come down to anywhere near historic averages.
How to save money on fuel
Now is a better time than ever to look for ways to save on fuel. GasBuddy is an easy-to-use app that you can download onto your phone. You just give it a location and it will come up with a list of local gas stations and prices.
Plan your trips with RV LIFE Pro
It’s also a great idea to plan your trips ahead of time with RV LIFE Pro. By using RV LIFE Trip Wizard to plan your trips in detail, you’ll know exactly when and where you will need fuel for your RV or truck. You can also vet those fuel stops with satellite and street view to make sure you can get in and out safely and back on the road.