Gas prices climb as supplies of crude oil shrink

Gas prices may continue rising as the price of oil hovers above $100 a barrel.
(Frederic J. Brown / AFP/Getty Images)

The price of gas jumped to an average $3.52 per gallon in the nation on Thursday as oil prices hovered above $104 per barrel, driven by the deepening Egyptian political crisis and diminishing stockpiles of crude.

Oil prices actually dropped slightly from above $106 a barrel Wednesday, the highest level in more than a year. The surging cost was partly spurred by reports that showed shrinking supplies of crude oil in the U.S.

The rise in crude is already beginning to trickle into costs at the pump, which declined for weeks before gradually jumping from an average $3.48 a gallon last week to $3.50 Wednesday.


In California, the average cost of a gallon of gas stayed steady at $3.98, the same as a week before, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report.

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“This is among the busiest times of the year for driving and nobody wants to pay more to fill up their gas tank,” AAA spokesman Michael Green said in a statement. “There are going to be a lot of unhappy people if gas prices continue to rise quickly.”

Prices at the pump may start climbing as chaos roils Egypt, where the military ousted democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi last week after only one year in office.

Although the country does not produce oil, it controls the Suez Canal and therefore has power over a major shipping lane that moves millions of barrels of the world’s oil supply daily. There are also concerns that the chaos may spread more broadly across North Africa and the Middle East, which is home to about a third of the world’s oil production.



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