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Drivers are seeing lower gas prices at the pump

Gas Prices
Posted at 9:15 AM, Apr 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-02 09:15:27-04

MICHIGAN — Michigan is seeing a drop in gas prices. We're seven cents down from last week's average. Some areas are even seeing prices below the four-dollar mark.

Experts say the president's release from reserves will keep oil down this weekend and next week, which is good for lowering gas prices.

GasBuddy says this strategic release is only a partial solution.

"Gas prices across Grand Rapids and in West Michigan have been in decline now for the last couple of weeks, which has been nice, but it's been a slow decline," GasBuddy Head of Petroleum Analysis Patrick DeHaan told FOX 17.

Heading to the pump is almost a waiting game, and we're all hoping to see lower prices.

"I think gas prices will probably remain elevated until there's some sort of concrete resolution between Russia and Ukraine," he added.

DeHaan says Russia was producing 10 million barrels of oil daily for the available market, a fraction of the one million America is now adding daily from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). The White House says they plan to tap the SPR for the next six months. 

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"It has been a tool that the U.S. has used during times of disruption, from hurricanes to geopolitical tensions, as we're seeing now between Russia and Ukraine," DeHaan said. 

According to GasBuddy, Michigan is ranked 24th least expensive regarding gas prices.

Drivers remember watching how fast the prices went up a month ago.

Now we're watching how long it's taking them to go down. DeHaan says there's a reason behind why this happens.

"There is a lag time about two to three days, in some cases. And yes, prices do generally go up faster than they come down. Although I think a lot of the reason for that is that there is a two- to three-day lag before stations can effectively pass along the cost. And that's why prices then come down a little bit slower is because stations are trying to recoup what they lost because they had to wait two to three days to effectively raise prices," he added.

Many are hoping the trend can continue through the summer months. It's a big time of the year for trips, whether it's on the road or up in the skies.

DeHaan says tapping the SPR will only provide temporary relief at the pumps.

"I think the only long-term substitute would be an increase in oil production, whether that's a resolution in the Russia-Ukraine situation or if U.S. oil production can be boosted quickly," DeHaan said.

DeHaan says if the U.S. continues to use one million barrels from the SPR for the next six months, our reserves will be the lowest they've been since 1984.

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