The weekly gasoline outlook is back! I was out of the office last week, thus the reason why we didn't have a forecast last week. Now that things have settled down again, let's take a stab at this week's forecast.

As it would be, GasBuddy sent an alert out to members in the Great Lakes areas yesterday afternoon (Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Wisconsin) about a possible price hike to $3.15-$3.25/gallon in those areas, and I hope buddies in those areas took notice! Prices are indeed rising in those communities (as well as other areas across the U.S. today!)

For the rest of the week, we're dealing with continued geopolitical concerns and refineries that will soon begin maintenance as driving prices up. While the Egypt situation has calmed, other areas are seeing violence, and unrest in the Middle East is very concerning- no firm or investor wants to be short (in terms of trading) in times like these, which is putting pressure on prices to rise.

Also, take a look at the price spread between NYMEX/WTI crude oil and Brent crude. See a difference of almost $18/bbl? Your eyes aren't deceiving you- that's the largest gap ever. I'll get in to why the prices are so different in a future blog post, but for now, I'll say that you should watch Brent crude, not WTI/NYMEX.

On to the forecast! By next Monday, retail prices will have risen to an average of $3.15 in the United States, while prices in Canada will rise to 113.7c/L. I'm still hopeful that some areas of the U.S. will see prices fall below $3/gallon before April, but with further unrest and other issues, we may not see it for a while!