If you’ve been looking ahead to summer to save money from high heating bills, the high cost of gasoline may eat away at some of your warm weather windfall. Iowa Department of Natural Resources Energy Analyst, David Downing, says things are shaping up for much higher pump prices this summer.He says the U-S is about seven-percent below the five-year average for crude oil inventories and about five-percent below on gasoline inventories. Downing says the low inventories make suppliers nervous as they bid for summer gas supplies, and that drives prices up. How high will they go?Downing says two-dollar-a-gallon gas could be a possibility. He says parts of the state hit the two-dollar-a-gallon mark last summer, but the statewide average never hit that mark. Downing says the demand for gas has increased while the number of refineries hasn’t changed.Gas demand this summer is expected to hit nine to 10 million barrels-a-day, while refineries can produce only about eight-and-a-half million barrels-a-day. He says the recent swings in pump prices shows they’re as volatile as gas vapors, moving up at five and ten center intervals.Downing says problems in surrounding states will continue to have an impact on Iowa prices also. He says high prices and demand in a city like Chicago tend to push up the prices in Iowa and surrounding states.
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