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Gas Prices Creep Higher With No End in Sight

Wednesday, 13 Feb 2013 | 2:39 PM ET
US Gasoline Prices Soar, But Can the Rally Continue?
From the trading floor, the "Futures Now" traders discuss important technical levels for gas.

Gasoline futures hit a six-month high on Wednesday, with some market watchers believing the rally has further to run.

With Americans already feeling the pinch of higher taxes, gas prices have been on a fairly steady climb. Two major factors behind the rise are supply issues and a lack of refining capacity, according to Commodities trader Anthony Grisanti.

(Read more: Gasoline at Highest Price Ever for This Time of Year.)

Indeed, stockpiles of gasoline and distillates fell, according to the weekly petroleum status report released by the Energy Information Administration this week — triggering some concerns that a dearth of supply will put even more upward pressure on energy prices.

Meanwhile, several refineries have shuttered for scheduled maintenance, contributing to concerns about supplies. Among regions with refinery concerns include Philadelphia Energy Solutions, a former Sunoco plant and the largest on the East Coast; and a gasoline-processing unit at Delta Air Lines' refinery in Trainer, Pa., which will close through late February.

Meanwhile, Valero Energy's McKee, Texas, plant and Chevron's Mississippi refinery have also shuttered units. The refining woes and the other contributing factors have some believing the stars may be aligned for a gas price surge.

David Lees | Taxi | Getty Images

"I think the stage is set for higher prices," said pro trader Rich Ilczyszyn, founder and chief market strategist at iiTrader. "Certainly, a retest of all-time highs based on the technicals."

Ilczyszyn noted the key level for gasoline is $3.07. If gasoline is able to close above that level, he thinks gas prices will continue to soar.

(CNBC's Sharon Epperson contributed reporting to this article.)

— By CNBC's Drew Sandholm with Reuters

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