May 20, 2009- U.S. gasoline prices are set to accelerate their rise today after a large draw down in supply stockpiles.

U.S. oil stockpiles contracted 2.1 million barrels, while gasoline stockpiles plummeted 4.2 million barrels, putting stocks of gasoline well-below average for this time of year.

While the U.S. is enjoying surplus crude inventory, they have been reduced by nearly 8 million barrels in just a few weeks time as demand accelerates and refiners start increasing production for the U.S. summer driving season.

This news will definitely bode poorly for consumers planning to take to the roads in numbers higher than last year as gas prices have risen 20-cents from just weeks ago, hovering at 2.335, 2-cents higher than just yesterday.

There is little good news for consumers as Sunoco and Flint Hills Resources both reported refinery fires in the U.S. in a pivotal time as refiners finish maintenance and begin raising production of summer gasoline, required by many states and cities to reduce pollution.

Gas prices will accelerate to nearly $2.50-$2.65 per gallon nationwide before a small pullback during the warmest summer months. Gas prices are then expected to rise as the peak of the hurricane season arrives in mid-August, but then falling after Labor Day as the U.S. driving season concludes.