Gas prices in the US reached a new record high Thursday - recording a national average of $4.589 per gallon - with analysts at JPMorgan now warning that that number could surpass the $6 mark by the end of the summer.
'There is a real risk the price could reach $6+ a gallon by August,' Natasha Kaneva, head of global oil and commodities research at the prominent investment bank, told CNN Tuesday.
The concerning forecast comes as US gas prices have surged to previously unseen highs during Joe Biden's presidency.
The nation's current average gasoline price, $4.58-a-gallon, stands as nearly double the $2.41 average seen during former president Donald Trump's last month in office.
The number topped Wednesday's previous record of $4.567, which eclipsed Tuesday's record of $4.523, which beat out Monday's record of $4.470.
The uptick has seen the price of gas since top $4-a-gallon in each of the 50 states - a dubious achievement never before reached.
Gas prices in the US reached a new record high Thursday - recording a national average of $4.589 per gallon - with analysts at JPMorgan now warning that that number could surpass the $6 mark by the end of the summer. Pictured is a person at a pump in Pelatuma, California, where gas prices have already surpassed the $6 mark
The nation's current average gasoline price, $4.58-a-gallon, stands as nearly double the $2.41 average seen during former president Donald Trump's last month in office. The uptick has seen the price of gas since top $4-a-gallon in each of the 50 states - a marker never before reached
The meteoric rise - which also has been attributed as a consequence of oil producer Russia's invasion of Ukraine - has seen California already surpass the $6, recording a state average of $6.061 Thursday.
Those prices have climbed since Biden was elected in November 2020, then skyrocketing earlier this year after the invasion of Ukraine, which has seen gas prices shoot up by at least 27 percent in about three months.
Meanwhile, as the European Union edges toward oil sanctions on Russia amid the county's military operations in the country, high inflation seen under Biden's Administration has further compounded the issue of rising fuel costs.
And with US gasoline inventories sitting at their lowest seasonal levels since 2019, JPMorgan says the situation will likely worsen in the coming months, with the bank conceding it will be difficult to satisfy consumer demand for gas during this summer's driving season - when millions of American families are likely to take trips and vacations.
'With expectations of strong driving demand...US retail price could surge another 37% by August,' the bank wrote in a recently released report, titled 'Cruel Summer.'
'Typically,' Morgan analysts wrote in their warning, 'refiners produce more gasoline ahead of the summer road-trip season, building up inventories.
'But this year, since mid-April, US gasoline inventories have fallen counter seasonally.'
The number topped Wednesday's previous record of $4.567, which eclipsed Tuesday's record of $4.523, which beat out Monday's record of $4.470. Gas prices have climbed since Biden was elected in November 2020, before skyrocketing earlier this year after the invasion of Ukraine, which has seen gas prices shoot up by at least 27 percent in about three months
JPMorgan also warned that East Coast gasoline inventories are at their lowest level in more than a decade, due to higher-than-normal exports of gasoline triggered by rising gas costs overseas in Europe - an uptick worse than the one seen in the US.
The rising rates have seen fuel supplies at US and Canadian refineries that normally supply Eastern US gas stations dwindle to crisis levels that could fall below levels seen in 2008, when the country experienced its worst recession since the Great Depression.
'If exports persist at this elevated pace and refinery runs - already near the top range for reasonable utilization rates - fall within our expectations, gasoline inventories could continue to draw to levels below 2008 lows and retail gasoline prices could climb to $6/gallon or even higher,' the analysts wrote.
At that rate, the analysts write, total US gasoline inventories could soon fall to levels not seen since the 1950s - an occurrence that would see gas prices swell even further.
With US gasoline inventories sitting at their lowest seasonal levels since 2019, analysts say gas prices will likely swell in the coming months, as refineries struggle satisfy consumer demand for gas during this summer's driving season. They say the shortage could
High high inflation seen under Biden's Administration has further compounded the issue of rising fuel costs. Inflation began to soar in April 2021, and has since risen to above 8 percent
Food inflation is up 9.4 percent, with popular items like bacon up 17 percent and beef up 14 percent
Such a decline in gas stock would lead to a 37 percent jump in prices, the economists write, which would then yield a national average of roughly $6.20 a gallon.
At those levels, gas prices would surge past their inflation-adjusted high of $5.38, seen in June 2008, when gas prices hit $4.11, not adjusted for inflation, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Morgan warns that unless refineries 'immediately' nix most of its exports and shift toward producing its own gasoline, 'US consumers should not expect much in the way of relief in prices at the pump until the end of the year.'
Refineries, meanwhile, are struggling to meet that demand, with many closed permanently during the pandemic, and others converted to refine renewable fuels rather than crude oil.
Gas prices could fall, however, if the US falls into recession - a strong possibility, experts say, when looking at the country's current inflation rate, which reached its highest point in more than four decades in March.
If that occurs, or even if the economy slows, the US could see its currently burgeoning job growth - which saw 428,000 Americans reportedly find jobs last month - drastically decline, with less people driving to work, with less money to spend on gas.
Gas stations in Washington reprogram pumps to prepare for $10-a-gallon fuel as Bidenflation sends average price soaring to $4.58 - almost twice the $2.41 during Trump's final month
By Alex Oliveira
A national gas station chain is reprogramming its pumps in Washington state to accommodate $10-a-gallon fuel, it has been revealed.
The move by 76 comes as the nation's average gasoline price soars to $4.58-a-gallon, almost twice the $2.41 average during Trump's last month in office.
A spokesperson for '76' gas stations confirmed that the national chain has begun reconfiguring its pumps to 'make room' for the possibility of double-digit prices, The Post Millennial reported.
The spokesperson for '76' did not comment on whether the company is expecting prices to reach $10.00-a-gallon, The Post Millennial said.
Meanwhile, other gas stations in the state have begun running out of gas as supplies become crunched, with reports saying at least 10 stations have run dry.
'76' gas stations has confirmed that they are reprogramming their gas pumps in Washington state to accommodate the potential for $10-a-gallon gasoline prices in the coming months
Gas prices in the US reached a then all-time high at $4.57 per gallon national average on Monday
The shortages are mainly effecting regular unleaded and premium gasoline, though diesel supplies are rapidly shrinking too.
Meanwhile some states - such as California - are reporting spiraling prices of up to $5.98 this week.
Russia's war in Ukraine is having a dramatic impact on the cost of crude oil - which sits at $114.20 a barrel.
The outlet also reported that a local Facebook group has identified at least 10 Washington gas stations that have run out of fuel, including Exxon and Circle K stations.
In January, 2021, the last month of Donald Trump's presidency, gas prices across the nation averaged $2.41-a-gallon, with some states charging averages under $2-a-gallon.
Gas prices have soared across the country as inflation climbs ever higher and oil supplies dwindle desperately lower. Above, a gas station in California charges $6.19-a-gallon
Gas prices have also climbed up. A surge in the price of crude oil is what led to the last period of stagflation in the US in the 1970s
Those prices have steadily climbed since Biden was elected in November, 2020, skyrocketing earlier this year after Russia invaded the Ukraine. Gas prices are up by at least 27 per cent from the day before Russia began their invasion.
The war in Ukraine coupled with rising inflation of 8.3 percent are the main culprits why drivers are spending more than $100 to fill up on full tank of regular unleaded gas in nearly a third of the country.
'Everything is pointing toward even higher prices. We are well on our way toward $5,' Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates, told CNN with prices almost sure to rise higher by Memorial Day, perhaps as high as $4.75 a gallon.
AAA is reporting an average of the average above $5 a gallon in California, Washington, Nevada and Hawaii, with Oregon not far behind.
A gas pump in Arlington, Virginia, with a sticker blaming Biden for gas prices. Prices have steadily climbed since President Biden was elected in November of 2020
Donald Trump speaks at the Double Eagle Energy oil rig in June, 2020. The national average price of gasoline was $2.41 when he left office
The average price of gas a year ago was $3.04 a gallon. Prices were recovering from the pandemic when stay-at-home orders and business shutdowns slashed demand for gasoline.
A lack of supply resulted in a gas shortage last summer, sending U.S. gas prices to a seven-year high.
Lipow believes that gasoline production will ramp up in the coming weeks with more US refineries ending their maintenance season and coming online.
Supply is currently at just 97% of 2019 levels.
Last week President Biden reportedly cancelled oil deals in Alaska effecting a 1 million acre tract of drillable land.
Jimmy Carter(second from left) was president when the US went through its last period of extreme gas shortage in 1979. Some fear that President Biden's presidency could soon see a similar crisis
Rep. Jim Jordan, a republican representing Ohio, tweeted incredulity in response.
'Joe Biden just canceled a 1-million-plus acre oil lease in Alaska. It's like they're intentionally trying to have high gas prices.'
Today's gas prices are the worst in US history, with the previous record of $4.11-a-gallon in July 2008 being left in the dust in March, according to AAA. That record does not factor in adjustments for inflation, which would set the record national average at around $5.25-a-gallon.
The 2008 spike came following a decade of growing energy tensions, with production stagnating amidst conflict in the Middle East, and developing countries surging fuel demands. Following the financial crash in 2008, prices settled.
Some fear that today's supply troubles could have the US revisiting scenes of the 1970s gas crisis.
In 1973 and 1979, stunted oil supplies caused by embargos and conflicts in the Middle East left gas stations across the country posting signs reading 'sorry, no gas,' while drivers lined up their cars to purchase whatever rationed gas they could.