Although temperatures continue to be mid-winter-like, the price of fuel has gotten a jump start on summer.
According to the AAA Fuel Gage Report, the average price of regular unleaded gas in Gary on Tuesday was $3.62 compared to about $3.24 last month and the upper around $3.50 a week ago.
The rise has been a little slower compared to one year ago when the average price was $3.74 at this time.
“The recent price increase in gas is a reflection of the transition of winter blend to summer blend gasoline, which drives prices up every year in the first quarter, said Gas Buddy senior petroleum analyst Gregg Laskoski.
Laskoski said on Monday crude oil prices had an uptick that was somewhat connected to the crisis in Ukraine but half of what crude prices gained Monday they had already lost Tuesday.
“While Russia produces a significant amount of oil, the vast majority of their oil is consumed domestically,” he said. “What’s happening between Russia and Ukraine is from an oil perspective much more of a European story than it is a U.S. issue.”
Regarding the transition regionally from winter to summer blend of gas Laskoski said if refineries can get through it without any major glitches then the price increase should be normal, but that’s always a wild card.”
“You can have a fire at one refinery and it creates a ripple effect that could be felt throughout the entire region,” he said.
Beth Mosher, spokeswoman for AAA Chicago said the Midwest is somewhat sheltered for now from global issues like that in Ukraine because it uses a different oil that is not subjected to global pressures “at least not right now.”
“East coast and West coast are more subjected to the global issues because they use oil that is traded on the London markets,” she said.