PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It has been a summer of higher prices for it seems like just about everything and leading the way has been gasoline.

We’re seeing the highest prices in years now.

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So, how about a glimmer of hope?

Patrick De Haan is the Head of Petroleum Analysis for GasBuddy.com and says, “I think we will be soon or, we are at our peak price for the year.”

De Haan says there is a good reason for the higher prices.

“The fact that so many Americans didn’t get to enjoy summer last summer, they are not about to let higher prices ruin this summer and that’s why demand is so much higher this summer and that’s why we’re all paying more at the pump,” he says.

But soon the school bells will be ringing.

“I think right now as we, you know are facing the end of the summer driving season, there’s going to be a natural decline in demand and that should feed lower prices,” he explains.

That slow decline in prices could come within a week or so.

“More of the relief I think we’ll wait until after Labor Day and then by mid-September we switch back to cheaper winter gasoline that should all snowballing to larger decreases starting in later September, lasting through potentially Thanksgiving,” De Haan says.

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But – and isn’t there always a but in these things?

“We could see [prices] go up, there’s a major hurricane that targets an area from the Mississippi River down to Corpus Christi, Texas I think that’s really the only the only broad instance where I see prices going up,” he says.

So how much lower could prices go, back to the $2.50 range?

“I think there’s a low likelihood that we could slip back under $3, I think that the more likely outcome would be a decline of maybe 10 to 20 cents a gallon potentially more by Thanksgiving so it’s not going to be a huge decline but some relief,” he explains.

Part of the issue is there is no help coming from OPEC to increase supply and the domestic oil companies are in no hurry to see the price come down.

“Last year they hemorrhaged money just like many companies did they lost tens of billions of dollars, not that anyone has to feel bad for them necessarily, but that’s the reality of it,” De Haan says.

De Haan says they are still ramping up their production to pre-pandemic levels and at the same time trying to make up for last year’s losses.

GasBuddy’s De Haan says the only thing that might drive prices back below $2.50 is something no one want to see.

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