The usual falloff in driving during January could prevent gasoline prices from rising in the first few weeks of the new year.
The average price at the pumps is 17 cents a gallon higher than a month ago.
Tom Kloza, the global head of energy analysis at the Oil Price Information Service in Wall, New Jersey, predicts lower demand will hold gas prices steady until early February.
But soon after that, he expects prices will climb higher because of the agreement by many oil producing countries to reduce output.
“Somewhere between President’s Day and Memorial Day we’re going to get a big rally, and that rally is going take prices up probably 35 to 60 cents a gallon,” Kloza said. “So we may indeed be paying $2.75 a gallon by the time the driving season starts.”
Kloza says speculation that this winter will be colder than the last one is also sending the cost of home heating oil higher with prices ranging from $2.50 to $2.75 a gallon.