Middle East Unrest Causing Gas Prices To Rise

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The crisis in Libya is causing oil prices to soar. And in turn, gas prices are skyrocketing.

Jessica Kartalija with more on the rapidly rising prices.

The price of a barrel of oil has spiked 18 percent in the last 10 days, and that’s certainly trickling down to Maryland drivers.

Michael Pyle watches his cash go from his wallet to his fuel tank.

It cost him $55 to fill his tank. He said he once paid just $20.   

In Maryland, the price per gallon rose 5 cents overnight as crude oil prices surge amid unrest in the Middle East.

“Concerns about Egypt and the Suez Canal. A lot of oil is transported through the Suez Canal that started it.  That and the concern that it would spread to other countries that really are oil producing countries,” said Drew Cobbs, Maryland Petroleum Council.

Cobbs says turmoil in Libya could raise prices even more.

“We get roughly 8 or 9 percent of our imports from Libya, so it’s a significant contributor to our cost in the United States,” Cobbs said.

This time last year, Americans paid an average of $2.69 a gallon. Last month, the price was $3.05. With the latest surge, the national average is now $3.28 a gallon.

“It’s getting ridiculous. Everybody has got to stop driving,” said Pyle.

Regarding concerns that gas prices could reach $5 a gallon in Maryland, AAA says that is not very probable.

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