Expect rising gas prices until after Labor Day

Gasoline prices in New Jersey are continuing to move higher.

The average price of a gallon of regular in the Garden State is now $3.61. That’s 12 cents higher than a week ago.

“We’ve really been on an uptrend since July 2,” says Tom Kloza, the chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service in Wall, N.J.

“It’s quickened a little bit lately and it’s quickened mostly because of refinery difficulties in different parts of the country, the most notably being on the West Coast within the last week or so,” he said.

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Kloza expects gas prices will drift higher until Labor Day and then start to drop as people drive less and oil imports increase. He expects prices could fall to about $3 a gallon by the end of the year.

But he said diesel and heating oil prices will continue to remain high even when gas prices start to drop. He estimates home heating oil prices will be near $4 a gallon later this year.

“That’s the strong part of the international barrel,” Kloza said. “The price for diesel and the price for jet fuel is going up, and it’s tugging heating oil higher as well.”

Gasoline prices in New Jersey have risen for seven weeks in a row.

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