ANALYST: Blame OPEC for Jump in Hoosier Gas Prices

WITZ Radio News is an affiliate of Network Indiana

STATE WIDE--The blame for Indiana's gas price jump could be put partly on OPEC, said Gasbuddy's Patrick DeHaan. The average for a gallon of gas Thursday morning was $2.66, but is expected to climb to $2.79.

"And, of course this is happening at a time when refineries are doing maintenance and we're switching to summer gasoline, which is fueling up prices at the pump," said DeHaan. He said Great Lakes states generally see prices go up or down faster than anywhere else in the country.

The suburbs of Chicago can look for $2.99 gas, he said.

"If a lot of motorists want to point fingers, they should do it at OPEC. We probably would've seen prices that were quite a bit lower," he said. "But, back in 2016 OPEC agreed to cut crude oil production. Ever since then U.S. oil inventories have continued to decline."

DeHaan said less oil means higher prices.

"U.S. oil inventories are 100 million barrels lowers than where they were last year. That's a 20 percent drop and that's part of the reason that oil prices are so much higher this year," he said.

OPEC stands for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. It's mission is to make sure there's a steady and economic supply of oil.