Maine gas prices expected to average $2.57 in 2018

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A company that analyzes and forecasts gas prices expects 2018 to be the most expensive year at the gas pump since 2014.

GasBuddy, a Boston-based technology company that surveys more than 1,200 retail gas stations in Maine and 140,000 stations nationally, said in a news release Wednesday that the yearly average for gasoline will rise to $2.57 per gallon, 19 cents higher than the average in 2017.

Diesel is expected to average $2.70 per gallon for the year.

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GasBuddy analysts expect prices will remain below $3 per gallon, although disruptions such as occurred last year with Hurricane Irma and Harvey, could push prices past that threshold. Prices are expected to rise for several reasons.

“Ultimately, OPEC bears much of the responsibility for cutting oil production, leading oil inventories to begin 2018 nearly 50 million barrels lower than a year ago,” said Patrick DeHaan, lead pretoleum analyst for GasBuddy, in the release. “Yet, understanding many factors, including OPEC, fuel taxes, the economy and their impact on supply and demand is integral to providing a thorough and balanced outlook on gas prices for 2018. Even one event can completely change trajectory of fuel prices for months.”

The company expects the average U.S. household will see its yearly gasoline bill rise to $1,898, up from $1,765 in 2017.

In 2017, the GasBuddy forecast called for a yearly national average of $2.49 per gallon, which actually came in at $2.39. In 2016, the forecast called for a yearly national average of $2.28, which came in at $2.12.

In 2014, the average gasoline price was $3.34 per gallon.

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Maine Gas Prices provided by GasBuddy.com
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