Americans warned to budget for $5-a-gallon gas prices as average rises to $3.61 – up $1 from 2021

Americans can expect to see gas prices to rise to $5 a gallon in the coming weeks, as the cost of oil continues to rise in the days following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, experts say.

‘We’re getting closer to seeing our first ever major city gas price average reach $5/gal,’ Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, tweeted Monday, as the national average soared to $3.61, which has since spiked to $3.72 as of Thursday.

‘It will happen in the next couple weeks,’ the oil analyst asserted, listing cities hit the hardest by surging oil prices, all in California, such as San Francisco, which on Thursday saw its average rise to $4.92 a gallon, and Los Angeles , currently at $4.88.

The national average as of Thursday is $3.72 a gallon, up 37 cents from February and about a dollar from a year ago, AAA data shows. The increase for the year can also be attributed to inflation and supply chain issues, which were then exacerbated by the Russian invasion.

The current spike is unlikely to ease soon, says De Haan – whose department analyzes fuel prices for more than 150,000 gas stations in the US, Canada and Australia – as the conflict between Russia, one of the world’s major oil producers, and Ukraine intensifies.

‘For those who think this #gasprice spike is somehow unique to only the United States and that the prez is the one somehow deciding to raise prices, it is a *global* price spike because of loss of oil from a major producer,’ Haan tweeted Thursday.

‘The prices are expected to continue to climb as the Russia situation further enhances, likely driving prices at the pump even higher.’

The current national average is $3.72 a gallon, AAA data shows.  In states with more costly fuel, like California and Hawaii, motorists are already are paying nearly $4.50 a gallon

The current national average is $3.72 a gallon, AAA data shows. In states with more costly fuel, like California and Hawaii, motorists are already are paying nearly $4.50 a gallon

The current national average in on the rise as a result of sanctions on major oil producer Russia, up 37 cents from February and about a dollar from a year ago

The current national average in on the rise as a result of sanctions on major oil producer Russia, up 37 cents from February and about a dollar from a year ago

‘The Russian invasion of Ukraine has sparked high-level concern that oil production could eventually be stifled, or even sanctioned, from the world’s second-largest oil producer leading to less supply as demand grows,’ De Haan said Wednesday.

‘That possibility has pushed up the national average price of gasoline considerably in the last week, and the situation could worsen at any time, keeping gas prices elevated for the foreseeable future.’

However, in US states with more costly fuel, such as California and Hawaii, motorists are already are paying nearly $4.50 a gallon, data shows.

De Haan says that Americans will see the average rise to $4/gallon before the end of March – nearing the highest-ever recorded national average of $4.11, recorded in July 2008 during America’s Great Recession.

California currently sports the highest average gas prices of the 50 states, at $4.80 per gallon, followed by Hawaii at $4.52/gallon and Nevada, at $4.02.

Experts warn that Americans can expect to see gas prices to rise to $5 a gallon in the coming weeks, as the cost of oil continues to rise in the days following Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Experts warn that Americans can expect to see gas prices to rise to $5 a gallon in the coming weeks, as the cost of oil continues to rise in the days following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Russia is a major energy producer, hence the swings in volatile energy prices, which are then compounded by the inevitable risks of a broader conflict, with more countries poised to enter the fray, to possibly bring on a full-scale war.

‘We think the Russia-Ukraine war will intensify global and US inflation pressures by pushing up oil and gas prices,’ Brian Coulton, chief economist with credit rating agency Fitch, told CBS News this week.

Oil prices have rallied amid shipping and supply concerns spurred by Russia’s invasion, with both US crude and Brent currently above $110 per barrel – their highest level since 2011.

And a recent round of sanctions by US officials on Russia’s oil refining sector suggests that the country’s oil and gas exports – which have yet to be targeted by Washington – suggests barrel prices may continue to rise, spurring higher gas prices.

Russia, which has been leveled with sanctions by countries supporting Ukraine intended to hamper the nation’s economy, is the world’s third-largest oil producer and the largest exporter of oil to global markets, per the International Energy Agency.

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