Could Michigan gas prices hit $5 by May? Here's what experts are saying

Gas prices
Posted at 5:35 PM, Mar 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 18:36:26-05

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) — It’s a trend that drivers don’t want to see: gas prices rising.

One year ago, AAA reported gas was $2.73 a gallon on average. One month ago, it was $3.37. One week ago, it was $3.44.

On Friday, gas prices reached $3.83.

Gas on average shot up in Michigan by 39 cents a gallon in the last week. AAA says that is the largest week-over-week increase in the nation.

The owner of the Cloverleaf BP Gas Station at Telegraph and 12 Mile roads called his supplier and got news no driver wants to hear.

At 6 p.m. Friday, the cost of gas for him was set to increase 19 cents. His truck rushed to get that gas before the increase, but he says in a few days, expect that price increase at the pump.

“The world market has never been like this before,” said Paul Lutfy, who has been in the gasoline business for years.

Lutfy says he has never seen prices shoot up like this, with no indication it is a short-term event.

AAA says Michigan’s highest average price was $4.25 a gallon hit in 2011. Lutfy says he expects us to break that record soon.

“We might beat it next week,” he said.

“That means I have to drive a little less far. A little shorter distance. To satisfy my pocket,” said R.J. Clark, a cowboy hat-wearing Detroit native who says he is also known as “Cowboy.”

Cowboy joked he is thinking about getting a horse.

What is leading to this?

Industry insiders say Michigan oil production companies are switching from winter to summer fuel, which impacts productivity. This usually leads to an increase in prices. Plus, the greater impact is Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and resulting sanctions have made it hard for Russia to sell gas, decreasing supply on the global market.

Customers at the Cloverleaf BP gas station said they are willing to pay higher prices in protest of the invasion of Ukraine.

“I am OK with it in the sense of it being the world uniting, saying, this is not OK, Russia,” said Michelle Stiltner, a driver filling up in Southfield.

“Gas prices and all of this is just material things. You can’t replace a person,” said Justin Bell, another driver filling up in Southfield.

Lutfy says his suppliers are not optimistic prices will go down anytime soon.

“In the next two months, we are going to see $5 for regular gas,” Lutfy said his suppliers have warned him. “We are looking at $6 for diesel.”