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$5 a Gallon for Gas? Get Ready, Experts Say

If gasoline prices approaching $4 a gallon are draining your wallet, brace yourself. Oil industry experts say gas prices could hit $5 a gallon – possibly before summer.

Blame the war in Libya and continuing unrest in other parts of the Middle East and North Africa, experts say.

The region produces 27 percent of the world’s oil.

Libya, which sits on the largest oil reserves in Africa, has almost totally stopped petroleum shipments as rebels battle troops loyal to Col. Moammar Gadhafi. The addition of international forces, including the U.S., could mean that the country will be embroiled in a protracted conflict that could keep oil fields offline much longer than previously expected, energy experts said.

In Yemen, embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh pledged to step down more than a year early, but his refusal to leave immediately infuriated tens of thousands of demonstrators. Yemen is an important transfer point for global oil supplies.

“It’s creating a situation where we could see the price of oil go up to $150 a barrel and gasoline toward $5 a barrel,” said Phil Flynn, an oil industry analyst with Chicago-based PFGBest.

Prices are likely to be steeper in the city than other regions, Flynn said.

 

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$5 a Gallon for Gas? Get Ready, Experts Say

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