Gas prices jump up, but could drop quickly back

DES MOINES — Gas prices jumped up across the state just before the weekend started, but an expert says the increase shouldn’t last long. 

AAA Iowa spokesman Brian Ortner says OPEC’s announcement they’re extending production cuts to the end of the year is one factor in the increase, as is the price of crude oil topping $87  a barrel. “If we look where we were a week or two weeks ago, we’re at that $77 level. So there’s a big difference there,” he says. “And then we’re moving into a time of lower demand and some of our refineries are going into their scheduled maintenance.”

The maintenance lowers the production capacity. Ortner says there are several things that should keep the gas jump from being long term. “We’re out of the summer travel months, kids are back in school, we’ve got Saturday game day football — which means people are driving less, it means the demand is going down — so that should help to ease those prices in the short term over the coming days.”

His advice is to understand the hike is something that won’t last long. “I know we don’t like seeing it, but let’s be patient,” he says. 

Some areas saw a jump of 70 cents on Friday.