Gas Prices Surge Following Ban on Russian Oil

Gas Prices Surge Following Ban on Russian Oil

There are growing fears that gas prices could eventually reach an unthinkable $6 or $7 per gallon.

This weekend, the price of gasoline smashed through the $4 per gallon milestone for the first time since 2008. The latest reading was $4.10 per gallon. The all-time high for average gasoline prices was set in July 2008, when it came in at $4.11 per gallon. According to the AAA motor club, the price of regular gas surged by roughly forty-one cents during the first whole week of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine—the second-biggest jump in average national prices in a week.

“This is a milestone that was hard to imagine happening so quickly, but with bipartisan support of severe sanctions on Russia, is not exactly surprising—it is the cost of choking off Russia from energy revenue,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said in a statement.

“As Russia’s war on Ukraine continues to evolve and we head into a season where gas prices typically increase, Americans should prepare to pay more for gas than they ever have before. Shopping and paying smart at the pump will be critical well into summer,” he continued.

More Pain Ahead

In a tweet on Sunday, De Haan added that the national average could reach up to $4.10 by Tuesday, which would nearly break the record. “GasBuddy expects that gasoline prices will continue to rise in the days ahead, and could be just days away from setting a new all-time record high and continuing to rise through summer,” the company noted, adding that the average price of gas will hit $4.25 by May and will likely remain over $4 until November.

“American and (European Union) sanctions are having a severe impact on Russia's ability to sell crude oil, thus crude prices have skyrocketed,” De Haan told USA Today. Plus, some states are seeing prices that are well above the national average. Gas prices in California are at a shocking $5.28 per gallon.

$7 Gas?

There are growing fears that gas prices could eventually reach an unthinkable $6 or $7 per gallon. “My guess is that you are going to see $5 a gallon at any triple-digit (oil prices) … as soon as you get to $100,” Energy Word founder Dan Dicker recently told Yahoo Finance. “And you might get to $6.50 or $7,” he warned.

According to Newsweek, it appears that day has arrived. A Shell station off of Olympic Boulevard in Los Angeles has confirmed that its current price for a gallon of regular gas is $6.99. Premium gas will set drivers back $7.29 per gallon. “I don’t think we’ve ever paid that [much for gas] ever,” one local resident told KABC-TV.

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.

Image: Reuters