Average gas prices could fall under $4 in coming weeks, expert says

FOX Business Flash top headlines for March 29

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The possibility that the national average of regular gasoline falls under $4 per gallon in the coming weeks is growing stronger, according to an industry expert. 

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Although it's nearly "impossible to tell what will happen," Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, told FOX Business that the "odds are rising, however, that we're heading back under $4" per gallon for the national average. 

Still, that could "easily change" due to the volatility in oil prices, according to De Haan. Oil prices, and subsequently gas prices, will be swayed by a variety of factors including whether coronavirus cases continue surging overseas and the war in Ukraine.

The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline stabilized over the weekend and is sitting at $4.24 as of Tuesday, according to AAA. 

Since the beginning of the year, prices have been increasing, driven by strained supply and increased demand, according to Edmunds. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, though, caused oil prices to surge even higher, pushing prices at the pump to levels not seen in over a decade. 

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Currently, oil is plummeting amid talks between Russia and Ukraine, according to De Haan. 

"If there's peace, we're heading back under $4," he estimated. If the war intensifies, "it could boost prices," De Haan added. 

Meanwhile, if coronavirus cases continue to surge in China, "it will prompt more lockdowns and demand destruction for oil," which will push prices lower, he said. But if cases drop, oil prices will increase and effectively push pump prices in the U.S. higher.  

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De Haan warned consumers in a blog post on Monday that "we’ll see a mix of slight decreases and some potential increases" in the near future. 

However, markets in California, the highest prices in the nation, "should finally cool off and areas could even move lower in Southern California," he said. 

As of Tuesday, the average for a gallon of regular gasoline in California is $5.91, according to AAA.  

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