Gas prices barely increased in Northwest Indiana last week despite the widespread shortages the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack caused, mostly in the southeast.
The average price of gas in the Gary metropolitan area was $3 a gallon last week, up 3.2 cents from $2.978 the previous week, according to GasBuddy.com
Gas prices in Northwest Indiana were, however, up 11.4 cents a gallon as compared to the $2.896 the previous month, and $1.6 from the average of $1.947 at the same time last year, when the pandemic and restrictions gutted demand.
Statewide, the average price of gas is $2.966 a gallon, down 2.2 cents as compared to the previous week, according to GasBuddy.com
Nationally, the price rose 6.4 cents per gallon to an average of $3.03, about $1.17 higher than a year ago.
“The national average gas price surged last week thanks to big price jumps in Southeastern states due to the previously shut down Colonial Pipeline, but most areas outside that region saw smaller fluctuations,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “With the pipeline now back in service, I expect prices to come down in the hardest-hit states, specifically the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida and Virginia. The drops should lead the national average to soon fall back under the $3 per gallon mark, but motorists shouldn’t get too excited — prices may start to head higher in a few weeks should Memorial Day gasoline demand be red hot. In addition, motorists in the affected areas should see outage numbers continue to decline this week, especially early in the week when gasoline demand tends to be lowest. I’m optimistic that there will be enough recovery by Memorial Day for motorists in these states to fill up without having to search for gasoline.”
In the broader Chicago metro, the average price of gas was $3.359 a gallon, only a smidge higher than a week ago, according to AAA.
“The Southeast will continue to experience tight supply this week as terminals and gas stations are refueled,” said AAA spokesperson Molly Hart. “Over the weekend, gas prices started to stabilize, but are expected to fluctuate in the lead up to Memorial Day weekend.”
An estimated 34 million Ameircans are expected to travel more than 50 miles on Memorial Day weekend, a 52% increase over last year.
“This is going to be an expensive summer for motorists. However, we do not expect it to deter travelers from hitting the road," Hart said. "AAA finds that despite the higher pump prices, Americans still take their road trips but just may not travel as far as originally planned, or go to their planned destination and spend a little less."