It’s time to prepare for another spike in gas prices. Crude oil prices are on the rise and that, combined with a fall in US supplies, are driving up the cost of wholesale gas.
Prices at the pump have gone up seven cents in the past week. The national average on Friday was $3.55 per gallon — a number that could climb 15 to 20 cents in the next two weeks.
While Egypt is not a major supplier of crude oil, ongoing political problems there have threatened Middle Eastern shipments. They have been the catalyst to the crude oil prices rising to a 15-month high.
Gas prices have fluctuated significantly this year. They averaged $3.29 per gallon at the beginning of 2013, but rose to $3.79 in February. In the Midwest, oil refinery outages caused prices to surge to $4.25 a gallon.
The national average for gas has gone up for five consecutive days after it fell steadily for 24 days, And In Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio, prices have surged up 20 cents in the past week. They could rise another 20 by the weekend. Patrick DeHaan, senior analyst with GasBuddy.com, explained to USA Today:
“It’s getting ugly… this coming at a time when demand is at its annual July peak. We may be on a roller coaster for the rest of the summer.”
But Francisco Blanch, head of commodities and derivatives research at Bank America/Merrill Lynch, believes the rise in gas prices is temporary. Blanch added, “I don’t think the run-up is sustainable. I give it a month.”
AAA spokesman Michael Green added in a statement to The Los Angeles Times, “This is among the busiest times of the year for driving and nobody wants to pay more to fill up their gas tank. there are going to be a lot of unhappy people if gas prices continue to rise quickly.”
It is unclear how long the latest rise in gas prices will really last.
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