With the new year upon us, the decline of gas prices has been slowing down. Could things turn around with prices beginning to rise?

According to Gas Buddy's Head of Petroleum Analysis, Patrick De Haan, prices could start heading the other way, and the reason for that could be because of China's economy opening back up.

"China is the largest oil importer globally, and they've seen a big drop in demand as a result of COVID cases. I do think that the end is in sight for the gas price declines."

De Haan mentioned that if prices do start heading upward, he hopes to see them go up slowly instead of in large jumps.

The current price for a barrel of WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude is around $80, jumping around $10 over the past week or so.

"China's economy plays a major role in oil prices right now, simply because of the lockdowns that they're seeing just very much like how the US and Canada went on lockdown early in the pandemic and it caused prices to plummet. It's China's turn now to kind of decide which direction they want to go with COVID cases surging."

When it comes to diesel prices, De Haan predicts diesel has more wiggle room and will drop more when it comes to prices.

The supply of diesel is picking back up De Haan mentioned refineries have finished maintenance, so refineries are boosting their production.

Airdrie did recently see a few cents drop in prices. At the beginning of this year, Alberta's government did fully remove the provincial fuel tax; it will last for the next six months.

Current prices in Airdrie are around $1.299 for regular and $1.719 for diesel.

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