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Gas expected to jump about 4 cents a litre

Another week, another jump predicted at the gas pumps.

News 95.7 is predicting gas will go up about four cents a litre tonight.

If that happens, the price of gas will have gone up almost 15 cents over the past three weeks.

Gas prices continue to rise, even though crude oil prices are staying steady.

At least one expert says it’s a little unusual because most of the indicators show gas prices should be cheaper.

George Murphy with the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices tells The Rick Howe Show demand continues to be down.

“It’s clear demand is down when you can take out about seven percent of your refining in the U-S and still see a build in inventory,” said Murphy. “Refinery capacity is down to about 84 per cent. The last time I looked at that figure was probably about two months ago, and they were close to 91 per cent at that particular time.”

He points to speculators as the culprits behind the increases.

“They see a possible U.S. economic recovery and Chinese economic recovery and what some of the housing starts have been, they’ve best they’ve been in the U-S in five years,” he explains.

Murphy warns speculators could end up breaking the bank.

“The latest inventory report out of the States is still showing a huge build in crude oil inventory again this week; 2.6 million barrels up and gasoline inventories are up 1.7 million barrels over the week previous,” he says.

But he says it could still be a blip.

“We’re still not out of the woods when it comes to economic recovery here yet and we need to see more solid proof that’s going to happen,” he explained. “I think there’s a line in the sand that big oil is going to have to cross and if they do cross it, they’re going to cause some big problems when it comes to economic recovery again.”

He adds we traditionally see gas prices rise in the run up to the driving season in May, and it seems to be happening earlier and earlier each year.