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Gas prices could soon reach $3.50 in Chicago, according to analysts

Written by
Jonathan Samples

Get ready for a surge in gas prices, Chicago. Industry analyst GasBuddy recently released its its annual outlook for 2017, and the cost of a gallon of gas in the city could get as high as $3.50 before it’s all said and done.

The price hike, which typically occurs between mid-February and Memorial Day, is due to the seasonal transition from winter-blend to summer-blend gasoline. This year, it’s expected to hit large U.S. cities such as Chicago, New York and Los Angeles particularly hard. According to GasBuddy, these cities will be at $3 per gallon “very soon,” with a steady increase expected through late spring, early summer. Currently, a gallon of gas in Chicago is selling for $2.44 on average.

“Overall, most areas will see peak prices under $3 per gallon, and while that’s far under prices a few years ago, watching prices surge every spring certainly brings heart burn with it," Dan McTeague, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, said in a statement. "If we were to add the five-year average increase we see during the spring, the national average would be thrust to $2.85 per gallon around Memorial Day, a 59-cent rise from the $2.26 per gallon observed Feb 9.”

In the Great Lakes region and on the West Coast, prior year outages at refineries could add even more volatility and result in temporary spikes in gas prices.

Despite the increase, the cost of gasoline won’t be anywhere near what it was in summer 2014. At the time, gas prices in the Chicago area were among the highest in the U.S., ranging from $3.76 to $4.59 per gallon. Last year, Illinois saw a seasonal jump of 92 cents per gallon.

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