NAPERVILLE, Ill. — At the Marathon service station in Naperville, Illinois, gasoline prices are cause for concern.
“They have definitely gone up,” said driver Jodi Newcomb.
She is bracing for what’s down the road.
“It will impact us. We’re driving to Iowa for Christmas so we’re definitely going to feel it,” she said.
In Naperville, the price of a gallon has risen between 20 and 38 cents in just over two weeks.
Gas prices “are headed north in just about every community across the country,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.com.
Bay City, Michigan, up 42 cents; Evansville, Indiana, up 33 cents; Lake County, Illinois, up 31 cents.
In 39 cities across the country, prices were up 23 cents in the last month.
The reason is classic supply and demand.
OPEC, the oil producing cartel, decided to cut production last month and because less supply means greater demand, prices at the pump started rising.
But for the last couple of years OPEC had been going in the opposite direction — over-producing and driving prices down, hoping lower profits would eventually price American suppliers out of the market.
But the U.S. producers in North Dakota, Texas and Louisiana have proven far more resilient than OPEC anticipated. So now, OPEC’s influence is diminishing.
“If oil prices get too high, U.S. shale producers will turn the key and that will act to limit oil prices from increasing too high,” DeHaan said.
For now, the expectation of oil market experts is that gas prices will probably rise gradually well into 2017, and could reach $3 per gallon in some areas.