Syria Crisis Could Raise Gas Prices: Should You Fill Up Your Tank Today?

As the crisis in Syria heats up, President Obama and other leaders are discussing possible military actions in the Middle East. Syria is not a major oil producer, but Western military strikes are being seen as a lead up to further conflict in the region. This, some fear, could disrupt major oil production and export.

Typically prices at the pump tend decline in the fall. September is often when the biggest price drops happen. But recent trends show that this may not happen this year, however. According to USA Today the national average gas prices have gone down from $3.63 in July to $3.55 this month. However, most analysts had expected the drop to reach $3.40 by early fall.

In recent days crude oil prices and gas futures have seen a jump in prices. While pump prices have fallen somewhat, barrel prices have gone up. The LA Times reports that this Wednesday crude oil was seen reaching $110.34 per barrel, a one percent increase. Brent, or light, crude oil jumped to nearly $116, an increase of $1.95 per barrel.

In general, oil prices have been on the rise since the recent military take over of the Egyptian government in July. Prices spiked again last week, as Obama and his administration began making clear their intent to take action in Syria.

Syria is not a major oil producer in the region, producing nearly 100,000 barrels a day, a quarter of what its oil output was before war began. Even so, many analysts say concerns are rising that war could spread to other areas, disrupting major oil producers and exporters. Some believe oil prices could temporarily spike to $150 per barrel.

Should you fill up your tank? Though it’s not set in stone, some predictions see prices at gas pumps rising between 10 and 20 cents per gallon in coming weeks. Much of this, analysts say, will rely on the decisions President Obama may make at some point later this week regarding US intervention in the crisis in Syria.

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