By Zach Myers
3:39 PM EDT, April 5, 2011
None of us are wishing for $3.85 gasoline but we might be a couple months from now. Some national experts predict we could be pumping $5 gas by the end of summer. Local analysts also say it is a very real possibility.
"It's going to be a balancing act," says University of Indianapolis Associate Finance Professor Dr. Matthew Will.
"One side you're going to see prices going up because of the summer pressures, the summer blends, the refinery maintenance. And on the other side, if you see stability in the Middle East you could see prices coming down."
The turmoil in the Middle East is being widely cited for pushing up oil prices. Nobody can really predict what's going to happen overseas but industry experts can predict the annual increase of gas prices during the spring and summer months. We're coming up on the time of year when the higher demand for gas combines with refineries switching to their summer gas blends. Combine those regular factors with the unpredictable events in oil producing nations, and it could be a recipe for shock at the pump.
For some, the shock already occurred Tuesday morning when they saw the price of regular unleaded gas at $3.85.
"I was like 'man what happened,'" said Indianapolis driver Tony Billman. "They don't even make excuses anymore, it just goes up."
While $5 gas is possible, Dr. Will says $4.50 is probable and $4.00 is almost guaranteed. He said Hoosiers need to prepare for an expensive summer at the pump.
"Allocate more money for gasoline, work that into your budget and just be ready for it," he said.