Oil prices started the new year by moving up slightly. West Texas recently rose about three percent to $76 per barrel. Patrick DeHaan with GasBuddy says it’s been a bumpy start to the year.
“Oil prices still a bit lower than what they were a week ago, but oil prices in full rally mode with China giving us strong indication of a full reopening happening.”
DeHaan says investors don’t know what to make of that opening. He says on one hand, it could drive up demand, pushing oil prices higher. But at the same time, DeHaan says that opening could lead to additional COVID cases triggering additional lockdowns and stalling the Chinese economy.
Either way, as he looks to the months ahead, DeHaan says he expects fuel prices to move higher.
“But I think we may start going up from here on out. I think the national average may have already bottomed out for the year. And while I’m hopeful that prices won’t be at record levels in 2023, we still could see gas prices that do flirt with and potentially breach the $5 a gallon mark, especially in areas of the west coast this spring.”