Gas prices likely to continue to rise

Published 7:09 pm Thursday, March 3, 2022

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Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine may have a long-term effect on the price of gasoline right here at home.

When Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, the national average for regular gasoline was at $3.54. A week later, the national average has jumped 18-cents to $3.73 per gallon. In Alabama a week ago the average price at the pump was $3.29 and Thursday’s average was $3.47 – an increase of 18-cents per gallon.

Earlier this week, the United States and the International Energy Agency – an agency formed after the 1973 oil crisis to help respond to disruptions in the oil supply – released 60 million barrels of oil from strategic reserves to try and stabilize the market.

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“They’re doing the best they can,” AAA Alabama spokesman Clay Ingram said. “They’re trying to make things better. But, it’s a short term fix. Sixty million barrels is about what we get from Russia every two weeks. It’s probably going to get a lot worse before it gets better.”

Ingram said gas prices were already on the rise in the U.S. because the summer travel season will soon be underway and people have already started traveling more. He said more travelers meant a higher demand, which in turn leads to higher prices at the pump.

Ingram said Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine will likely continue to impact gas prices for some time to come.

“Russia is the third largest exporter of oil,” Ingram said. “It just depends on how long this situation lasts and what sanctions are put in place against Russia. The Ukrainian situation is also creating a lot of havoc with investors. There are a lot of other options to get oil, so this is going to hurt the Russian economy.

“The whole situation is just a mess. I’m scared it’s going to be a mess for quite a while and it will cause gas prices to go up. We’re already seeing that at the pump.”