The average price for a gallon of regular gas nationwide is expected to exceed $6 by the end of summer 2022, after surpassing $4 per gallon in all 50 states on May 17.
Prices could surge another 37 percent by August to an estimated national average of $6.20 per gallon, according to a note from JPMorgan analysts on May 17.
Californians this week are already paying $6.06 for a gallon for gas, with the rest of the nation set to follow.
The news broke less than two weeks before Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of the summer season when Americans will be traveling more.
“Even the annual seasonal demand dip for gasoline during the lull between spring break and Memorial Day, which would normally help lower prices, is having no effect this year,” he said.
“Typically, refiners produce more gasoline ahead of the summer road-trip season, building up inventories,” said Natasha Kaneva, head of global commodities research at JPMorgan, but since mid-April, “gasoline inventories have fallen counter seasonally and today sit at the lowest seasonal levels since 2019.”
The JPMorgan analysts warned that “gasoline balances on the East Coast have been even tighter, drawing to their lowest levels since 2011.”
All of this comes a week after the Department of the Interior announced that President Joe Biden planned to cancel three oil and gas lease sales scheduled in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Alaska, claiming there was a lack of interest in drilling there due to “conflicting court rulings” that have complicated the process.
That decision removed millions of acres of U.S domestic waters from eligibility for offshore drilling for oil and gas.
But Biden has also blamed oil companies for not producing enough supply to keep prices down, even going so far as to threaten the oil industry with tax penalties for companies with federal leases that are not pumping enough oil.
“As geopolitical volatility and global energy prices continue to rise, we again urge the administration to end the uncertainty and immediately act on a new five-year program for federal offshore leasing,” he said.