With fall just around the corner, gas prices are likely to be affected by the changing season.

Usually, prices will drop as cheaper fuel is used during the cooler months, though a number of factors could impact that price.

Patrick De Haan, the Head of Petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, says that movement could go either way.

“I think we may see some movement both up or down just depending on how the deck is stacked. We have seen oil prices giving a little bit of momentum up. Oil prices now holding at about 80 dollars a barrel. That's about 3 to 4 dollars a barrel lower than where we've seen them in the last week or two.” 

“A lot of the reason why oil prices remained relatively elevated is because of Saudi Arabia's production cuts and those cuts being matched by the Russians. In addition, oil prices have struggled a bit as of late because of concerning news about the Chinese economy, which continues to slow down."

There's also a risk that a natural phenomenon could impact gas prices.

"So while prices could fall slightly over the next couple of weeks," said De Haan, "There are some upside risks that remain, including hurricane season, which is now getting into its prime. We do have several areas of interest out in the Atlantic to keep an eye on.” 

De Haan says those storms could be problematic if they hit the Gulf of Mexico, where the US keeps many of its refineries.

If the weather does stay calm it's likely we'd see the seasonal fall of prices play out.

“If we can avoid hurricanes and further cuts, well then I think gas prices could ease a bit. We've seen that in the last week, the average price in Saskatchewan is down about a penny a liter to 159.6 today. So we may see a little bit of downward direction over the next couple of weeks."

"Once we get into late September, that's when we switch back to cheaper winter gasoline. So again, as long as we can avoid hurricanes or unexpected OPEC cuts, I think we'll trend a little bit lower over the next couple of weeks."

While gas prices may end up dropping, De Haan is confident we'll see a rise in diesel prices as the months get colder.

“Diesel prices may continue inching up for the reason that we are getting closer to the peak consumption of diesel. As we get into the colder months, we generally see an uptick in heating oil demand, heating oil and diesel are essentially the same two products. In addition, an improving economy could push diesel demand higher and thus it could push diesel prices higher. So that's something to watch.“ 

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