CHICAGO (CBS) — With gas prices at lows we haven’t seen in seven years, one analyst said drivers should buy now, because prices are likely to go back up soon.

The last time the national gas price was less than $1.80 was January 2009, near the end of the Great Recession.

Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.com, said Chicago’s average price per gallon is lower than the national average, at $1.77, but that’s not likely to last long.

“This is somewhat uncharted territory for Chicago, being under the national average for consecutive days. That’s the biggest deal here, is this is not something that we have seen at the pump in Chicago in probably a decade or so,” he said.

There are pockets in the suburbs – like Bensenville, Lockport, Homer Glen, and Romeoville – where prices are as low as $1.41 per gallon, but DeHaan doesn’t expect those prices to stick around.

“I think we’re looking at here the 9th inning of this low-price environment, and that we likely will start to see prices perk up,” he said.

DeHaan said cheap oil and large refinery production have caused a long stretch of dropping gasoline prices. He expected prices at the pump soon will tick upward, as refineries begin switching to the more expensive summer blend required in major cities like Chicago.

“Refiners are starting to make that switch. It’s not an overnight thing in which we go from winter to summer gasoline. It’s more like a four-step fertilizer application that you have to do, and it takes time,” he said.

Refiners also could cut oil production to help out the industry.

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