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Rising gas prices will 'cool off': Expert

Summer at the pump
Summer at the pump

Consumers should enjoy a relatively painless summer at the pump despite gas prices ticking higher in recent weeks, an industry expert said on Tuesday. (Tweet this)

The average retail price for an unleaded gallon of gas hit $2.63 Tuesday, the 19th-straight day of increases, according to GasBuddy.com. Wholesale gasoline futures have risen at a faster pace than U.S. crude oil, which has climbed 20 percent in the last month.

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Gas, which has risen 33 percent in that span, will likely start to fall back in line with crude prices by the end of May, said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.

"Average prices nationally will be in the mid-$2 range for much of the summer," DeHaan said in a CNBC "Power Lunch" interview.

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Rising crude prices have partly driven the spike in gas. West Texas Intermediate crude futures settled above $60 per barrel on Tuesday for the first time since December.

A February explosion at an ExxonMobil refinery in California and labor issues at some refineries have also helped push gas prices higher, DeHaan said. Those disruptions may "cool off" in the coming weeks, leading to gas price declines, he contended.

Dehaan added, though, that prices could see another spike when hurricanes start to hit the U.S. in July and August.

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