In the last few weeks the price of gas in East Texas has increased about 10 cents. Experts say the is going to continue to increase over the next couple months.
“It’s (price increase) very noticeable,” said Alexis Beltran of Tyler. “When I'm driving down the street, I think maybe the next gas station will be a little lower, but it's like, no it's not getting any better.”
Dr. Herald Doty, The University of Texas Tyler assistant vice president of Strategic Initiatives, said every year around this time, refineries do routine maintenance that halts production and switch the type of gas produced.
“The refineries are shifting over from a winter blend of gasoline to the cleaner burning summer blend and just that change in blends adds something between 14 and 18 cents a gallon because it's more expensive to make,” Doty said.
Doty said there’s also a unique situation this year increasing prices up.
“The trouble in the Ukraine is actually forcing prices up a little bit, but not the way people think. What's happened is , that’s forcing up corn prices. Most of our ethanol is made with corn, so the ethanol prices are going up because of trouble in the Ukraine. The effects we're seeing bleeds through to gasoline prices,” Doty said.
Doty believes the prices could average out at $3.50 a gallon this spring before lowering again.