Expert: Turmoil in Europe could drive Hawaii gas prices to $5 a gallon by Memorial Day

The next time you pull into a gas station, filling up is probably going to cost you more.
Published: Feb. 24, 2022 at 3:31 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 24, 2022 at 5:20 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The next time you pull into a gas station, filling up is probably going to cost you more.

Economists say Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is already having an impact on gas prices in Hawaii and they predict the average cost for a gallon of unleaded in Hawaii could hit $5 by Memorial Day.

Petroleum experts say drivers can expect to be paying 10 to 15 cents more for a gallon of gas over the next couple weeks.

“The price of oil took a huge jump today, which is hardly unexpected,” said Patrick De Haan, head of Petroleum Analysis at GasBuddy.

He said after the United States, Russia is the world’s second largest oil producer. “So what happens in Russia could have a profound impact in terms of energy availability and price,” he said.

Drivers in Kalihi on Thursday say the pain at the pump is real.

“I feel like we’re already paying a ton of money just for gas,” said Kahau Enos.

He’s not wrong, the average price Thursday for a gallon of unleaded in Hawaii was $4.54. That’s just 8 cents shy of an all-time record.

“So if we have to go up even more it’s going to be hard to swallow,” Enos said.

Meanwhile, the director of the University of Hawaii’s Economic Research Organization says it’s hard to predict what’s ahead for other facets of the economy.

“Today the markets are saying OK, we’ll get by this,” said Professor Carl Bonham. “But it’s one of those situations where no one knows what this going to look like in 3 months or in six months.”

In the short-term, however, it’s likely you’ll be spending more on the basics.

“Gasoline prices will go up, diesel prices will go up, jet fuel prices will go up,” said De Haan. “That means logistics, transporting goods. All of those prices will go up. Airline prices will go up. The price of anything delivered via truck whether it’s goods to the grocery store will see an increase.”

As for when prices might fall, experts say the oil markets will respond to any positive developments in Ukraine. Beyond that, the cost of gas isn’t expected to drop until late summer or fall.

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