Three weeks ago I wrote a post talking about what was driving higher gas prices here in West Central Missouri.

I even asked the question will we see $3.00 gas by Memorial Day? Back then I said it was possible, but not probable. Well, each and every week it's becoming more probable, and the latest news isn't good.

Both Gas Buddy and AAA Gas Prices are reporting that OPEC is extending oil production cuts for another month. which, according to Gas Buddy surprised oil markets because global demand is up as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally AAA Gas Prices reports refinery capacity is at the lowest rate ever recorded by The Energy Information Administration's report for the week ending February 26. Simply combine refinery utilization at a record low, gasoline supplies tightening, demand increasing and higher crude prices and low gas prices aren't coming back anytime soon.

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Gas Buddy's Head of Petroleum Analysis says, "Motorists should prepare for further gas price increases in the weeks and potentially months ahead, with a $3 per gallon national average potentially less than a month away.”

A sentiment echoed by AAA spokesperson Jeanette McGee with a little hope for lower prices towards the summer thrown in. "With crude oil prices back on the rise, we could see the national average climb towards $2.90 this spring with some relief by early summer." McGee also pointed out the last time the national average of gasoline flirted with $3.00 a gallon was in May 2018.

Gas Buddy's advice to battle the high prices, shop around for the best fuel price. Makes sense since their whole deal is helping people find the best price at the pump.

Want a little good news? According to AAA the national average price for gasoline is now $2.774, with Missouri's average at around $2.507. That however is still 30 cents more than it was a month ago and 40 cents more than a year ago.

According to Gas Buddy, prices in the Sedalia area range from $2.43 (paying cash) at the BP on Highway 50 in LaMonte to $2.59 at several stations in town. Prices range from $2.49 to $2.59 in the Knob Noster / Warrensburg area.

I stand corrected from my article three weeks ago, not only is $3.00 a gallon gas possible in West Central Missouri, I suspect it's probable.

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