GasBuddy predicts relief at the pump in 2024

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By Dan Sears

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GasBuddy came out with its annual Fuel Price Outlook for 2024 ahead of the official calendar flip, which included some good news for drivers.

After two years of above average gas prices, the technology company projects that 2024 will bring relief at the pump. GasBuddy expects the yearly national average to drop from $3.51 per gallon in 2023 to $3.38 in 2024.

“As 2023 fades away, I’m hopeful those $5 and $6 prices for gasoline and diesel will also fade into memory,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “The global refining picture continues to improve, providing more capacity and peace of mind that record-setting prices will stay away from the pump in 2024. I anticipate that we’ll still have volatility, unexpected outages and disruptions, and potentially weather-related issues, but I do not expect it to lead to record prices. Offsetting OPEC+’s production cuts is contributing to the rise of U.S. oil production, which now stands at record levels. Combined with Canada, North American oil production could further stabilize countries that have decided to curb oil production.”

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Other toplines from the outlook, available here, include:

  • The national average could fall below $3 per gallon this winter – before rising in late-February.
  • The highest prices are expected in May, with the average potentially rising to $3.89 per gallon, then declining into summer as hurricane season then brings some uncertainty.
  • Most major U.S. cities will see prices peak at or slightly below $4 per gallon in 2024.
  • Americans are expected to spend a combined $446.9 billion on gasoline in 2024, down from $479.2 billion in 2023. Meanwhile, average yearly spending per household will fall to an estimated $2,407 — down 2% from 2023 and 12% compared to 2022.
  • Diesel prices are expected to average $3.87 per gallon nationally, falling incrementally from 2023 and peaking at $4.13 per gallon in March.
  • Electric vehicles (EVs) and the 2024 presidential election may impact fuel prices in 2024, with a potential slowdown in the EV transition at stake, according to GasBuddy.
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“Ahead of a major election, I’m sure there will be a lot of finger-pointing or credit-taking for what’s determined not by politicians, but by the fundamentals of economics: supply and demand. The farce of ‘energy independence,’ will likely continue, and I’m sure false information on the nation’s SPR (Strategic Petroleum Reserve) being empty will multiply,” said De Haan. “The truth is the U.S. is producing record amounts of crude oil, and the SPR stands half full and is rising. Oil companies continue to raise output, not politicians.”

De Haan also noted that the while the remnants and imbalances from the pandemic and the war in Ukraine have not completed disappeared, time has acted as a healer.

“And risk has been reduced as the flow of oil has continued,” he explained. “While new geopolitical situations arise, these two are some of the largest factors we’re seen on fuel prices in my career, and I’m hopeful we won’t see anything rising to the level that these two did years ago.”

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