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Gas prices up some 18% and are expected to continue climbing. Just how high will prices go?

"Only time will tell" if we see the highest summer prices since 2014, GasBuddy reports

BEAUMONT, Texas — Expect the pain at the pump to get more painful. 

Gas prices are continuing to climb, increasing for the past 10 weeks, and now hovering around $2.65/gal. in Texas.

The Beaumont-Port Arthur area is trending slightly lower than the state average -- at $2.59/gal. average as of Friday. That's up 43 cents from one month ago when gas prices in Southeast Texas were averaging $2.16/gal.

“With increased demand and tighter gasoline supplies, we are looking at more expensive pump prices with little relief in the weeks ahead," said Jeanette McGee, AAA spokesperson.

Gasoline demand is up slightly compared to March 2020 when the pandemic lockdowns were just beginning. 

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Texas is still far below the national average of $3.07/gal., according to data compiled by GasBuddy. The national average is 33 cents higher than it was one month ago. 

GasBuddy tells 12News that prices should eventually begin to ease over the next week due to oil prices dropping this week on concerns over COVID in Europe hurting demand. 

A barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil was down 52 cents to $65.09 per barrel in early Monday trade, slightly lower than last week’s start at $66.05 per barrel, GasBuddy reports.

"Last week’s gasoline demand was just 1% below the pre-pandemic level, an extremely bullish factor likely to continue driving gas and oil prices up in the short term,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. "It’s no longer a question of if we’ll see gasoline demand return to near normal this year but when, and will oil producers rise to the occasion and be able to quickly ramp up output, or are we going to see the highest summer prices since 2014 until they jump into action?"

De Haan says retail gas prices should begin to trickle down 3-7 cents per gallon over the next week or so should the crude oil selloff we experienced this week hold. 

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De Haan believes retail gas prices should begin to trickle down 3-7 cents per gallon over the next week or so should the crude oil selloff we experienced this week hold.

However, U.S. gasoline demand is on the rise -- up nearly 20% in a month. 

"Only time will tell, but it’s looking like things are heating up far more than expected since the start of the year," De Haan said.