OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – If you have filled up your gas tank recently, you may have been surprised when you saw the cost at the pump. Prices are higher than we have seen in a year, and it is leaving many wondering why.
Some speculation that has been floating around regarding the higher gasoline prices is the Biden administration’s cancelation of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
“So as the cost of producing oil from drilling or moving it through pipes or refining it, all of that is going to increase the cost, and that will probably drive up costs for consumers,” said Brook Simmons, president of Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma.
However, the former president of an oil and gas exploration and production company, Steve Agee, disagreed with that claim.
“I don’t think that the Biden decision to delay the Keystone XL portion of the pipeline has any impact on what we’re seeing right now,” said Agee. “Now, that’s not to say that it might not impact things in the future.”
Both experts agree that the winter weather played a part in driving up the price, but ultimately it was the market rebalancing.
“We’re starting to see a rebalancing, where the supply is coming down, demand is increasing,” said Simmons.
As more people begin to return to normal, as in commuting to work and traveling for vacation, the market balances out and the prices go up.
“However, as we move toward the summer, May, June, July, that’s when the driving season really picks up,” said Agee. “And if we start to see the incidence of covid ramping down, as people get their shots and we’re careful with what we do, if we start to see a pickup in driving, which we normally do in the summertime, then the demand for gasoline and diesel’s going to go back up. So that’ll put upward pressure on prices.”
Agee and Simmons said time will tell just how high the gasoline prices will go, but to remind residents that this process is normal for the oil and gas industry.