Syria strikes could mean 15-cent rise in gas prices, analysts say

Gas pump nozzle in a car at a filling station

Locally, motorists in the Bradenton-Sarasota area were seeing one of the lowest averages ($2.56) in the state, though that's likely of little consolation since prices are about 20 cents higher than a year ago.

Crude oil prices surged last week, posting a $4 per barrel increase on the week as concerns mounted about trade tensions with China, the situation in Syria and robust demand eating into global supply.

As recently as April 9, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan said: "As markets have seen concern rise of a possible trade war between the US and China, oil prices have been hit hard, leading gas prices to dramatically slow their recent ascent". "However, higher oil prices have also enticed US producers to ramp up crude oil exports, effectively draining USA oil inventories at a higher pace than that oil is being replaced", he said.

The report notes, "regional differences in retail gasoline prices can be significant".

Looking state-by-state, the largest weekly changes in average gas prices were seen in: MI (+12 cents), Utah (+9 cents), Idaho (+8 cents), Nebraska (+8 cents), Georgia (+7 cents), IL (+7 cents), West Virginia (+7 cents), Missouri (+7 cents), Texas (+7 cents) and Tennessee (+7 cents).

If you've pulled up to a gas station in the last week, you've probably noticed that fuel costs are going up. The national average for gas is now $2.71 while wholesale prices continue to climb.


"In the past few years we've had such an abundance of crude oil that worldwide problems really didn't phase the oil market", Jenkins said.

Idaho gas prices rose again last week to an average $2.93 per gallon.

Patrick DeHaan, the head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said gas prices have peaked in mid-May the past few years as refineries finish the transition to a more-expensive summer blend.

"That could be very close to what we expect this time around", DeHaan said. That also means the average American household can expect to spend $200 more for gas overall in 2018.

DeHaan said refinery maintenance has gone well so far, gasoline supply has continued to increase and the transition to summer gasoline supplies is nearly finished.

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