Falling gas prices expected to begin accelerating in spring

Gasoline prices are the lowest for the Christmas holiday travel since the depth of the recession in 2008.

The average price of a gallon of regular gas in New Jersey is about $1.85. In Philadelphia, it’s about $2.20, while motorists are paying about $1.93 in Wilmington.

Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at the Oil Price Information Service in Wall Township, New Jersey, said prices are lower because of a plentiful supply of crude oil.

“Some of that glut of crude oil is being transitioned into a glut of refined products. We’re also on the threshold of January, which is by far the poorest month for gasoline demand,” he said. “So it’s easy to make the gasoline. People don’t drive quite as much.”

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Kloza said gasoline will become more expensive again in the spring.

“The system is just sort of geared with refinery maintenance that takes place in the first quarter, and a little bit more demand, and purging the system of winter grade gasoline that we’ll see an increase,” he said. “We’ll be paying the same sort of high numbers we paid last year, which is to say $2.40, $2.50 a gallon.”

That’s in New Jersey. Prices will rise more than that in Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Those who use home heating oil have added reason to celebrate the holidays, Kloza said.

“Not only has it been warm and they haven’t had the degree days, but they’re looking at prices that are less than $2,” he said. “And if you use 700 gallons, for example, you’re going to have a bill that is less than $1,500 — as opposed to bills that are $2,500 or $3,000 in previous winters.”

Diesel fuel prices are lower than they’ve been since 2004, Kloza said, and jet fuel is about a third what it was in the past few winters.

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