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Gas prices are expected to fall in 2024, but that's far from a guarantee. Geopolitical events could disrupt supply chains, causing prices to rise.
Average gas prices are expected to be 13 cents cheaper in 2024 than they were in 2023, but geopolitical issues could cause fluctuations, said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at Gas Buddy.
The war in Ukraine and COVID-19 are previous examples of how geopolitical issues have caused changes to supply. DeHaan noted that tensions in the South China Sea could be the next geopolitical issue to impact gas prices.
"China has intentions eventually down the road to potentially reunify with Taiwan. That could bring in new geopolitical tensions that aren't included in our forecast," he said, noting that the war in the Middle East has already been factored into 2024's projections. "There's a lot of different things that could happen geopolitically that do have a risk or impact on the price of oil. So, we'll have to stay tuned to what happens geopolitically in 2024."
According to AAA, the average price for gas in the U.S. is $3.08 per gallon, as of Friday, which is down by about 20 cents from a year ago. Twenty-five U.S. states are averaging under $3 a gallon, AAA said.
"Russia's war in Ukraine and COVID are still fading into the rearview, and it's going to feel like a more normal year at the pump, though prices still are going to be higher than where they were prior to COVID," he said.
DeHaan expects prices to surge in the spring, peaking around Memorial Day, leveling off during the summer and hurricane season before moderating by the November election.
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