Drivers in Detroit and Michigan could see a return of four dollars a gallon gasoline.  That’s the prediction of petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan who says demand for gasoline has grown five percent over the last year while supply has dropped about seven percent. 

Prices in Detroit are up almost six cents a gallon over the past week to an average of $3.11  That’s up 50 cents from a year ago, and 30 cents higher than a month ago. 

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Nationwide, prices are up four cents over the past week to 3.03.

DeHaan says prices usually rise in late Spring and early Summer. 

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Typically gasoline prices rally 25-50 percent per gallon between about March and the end of May, according to DeHaan who says we could see new price records in the Spring.

“Whether or not that will happen will largely depend on how the economy improves from here on out,” DeHaan said during a live interview with WWJ’s Greg Bowman Tuesday.  “If we continue to see the Dow Jones continue to rise, if we see consumers continue to open up their wallets and spend their money it’s likely that gasoline prices will be above four dollars a gallon in just a few months time.” 

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DeHaan’s prediction came the same day former Shell Oil company executive John Hofmeister warned we could be paying five dollars a gallon by 2012.