The fuel price forecasting website says Houston area gas should crest between $3.85 and $4.15 a gallon sometime this spring. Patrick DeHaan is a senior petroleum analyst with Gas Buddy.
“Prices generally will start a bit sluggish this year, prices moving up in January and February just slightly, and then the accelerator gets hit in March, and that lasts for about a month or so.”
DeHaan says the wild card will be refinery performance.
“In the past year, a major refinery in Houston, the Motiva refinery, opened a 300,000 barrel a day expansion. That expansion had to be closed down again, and that certainly resulted in some upward pressure at the pump.”
The Motiva refinery — located 90 miles east of Houston in Port Arthur — was forced to shut down in June due to severe chemical corrosion, just weeks after the completion of a five year expansion project.