INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — With Memorial Day coming and the start of the summer driving season, gas prices are on the decline in Indian River County and should stay well under $3 a gallon barring a major hurricane disrupting oil production, said Patrick DeHaan, a petroleum analyst for Gasbuddy.com.Gas prices peaked in Vero Beach this month at $2.93 per gallon and are presently hovering at $2.70 according to data supplied by the Website that tracks retail gas prices around the country. The news is even better in Sebastian where gas can currently be purchased at $2.65 a gallon down from $2.89 on May 6.
“For most of June we expect gas to be in the $2.65 to $2.80 range and it doesn’t look like it will hit $3 this summer,” DeHaan said. “For the summer we are predicting gas in your area to run from between $2.65 to $2.85 a gallon.
DeHaan said across the country the price of a gallon of gas has dropped 12 cents since the beginning of the month, the largest such decrease in the average price of gas in such a short amount of time his company has seen in its 10 years of monitoring such data.The analyst said the current economic woes in Greece and other western European countries has given pause to investors who had run up gas on the wholesale market to as high as $87 a barrel, while it is now trading in the low $70s.”The slowing of economic recovery has been a reality check for investors who are seeing now that the demand for oil might not be what they expected,” he said, noting that capacity is currently 6 percent higher in the U.S. than a year ago. “”You won’t see gas prices go higher until that spare capacity goes away.”DeHaan also said the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico should not affect oil prices here as the British Petroleum rig was an exploratory operation and no one had factored any of the thousands of gallons of spewing oil into the current production schedule.