JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville’s gas prices have gone up four cents in the last week. While the trend may continue for weeks, WOKV’s oil expert says he’s cautiously optimistic that it will be a nominal increase, rather than a large spike.
“There are so many unanswered questions right now, as far as how and when the situation in Iraq will improve where the country will be secure,” says Gregg Laskoski of GasBuddy.com.
But there’s no question that the United States continues to grow less dependent on foreign oil.
“We have such a strong supply-side picture in terms of domestic production being at the highest level we’ve seen in over twenty years,” Laskoski says. “That’s really helping to soften the blow, and it’s keeping global crude oil prices from spiking higher.”
Since last Monday, the national average price for a gallon of gas has gone up three cents to $3.68. Laskoski says he expects that to go past $3.70.
“I’d say in the last week to ten days, we’ve seen the Iraq situation add about twenty cents a gallon to prices across the country,” he says.
But Laskoski also believes that things could be a lot worse when comparing to the past.
“Four or five years ago, if this situation in Iraq were have to occurred, I wouldn’t have been surprised if we saw crude go up to $120 or $130 a barrel.”
Right now crude is trading in a narrow range: between $106 and $107 a barrel.
If the situation in Iraq deteriorates and exports diminish, Laskoski says both OPEC and non-OPEC member countries will then contribute to try and make up the difference.
“And it’s not as if they’re doing some altruistic,” he says. “Let’s remember that almost any Middle East crisis results in profit opportunities if you’re an oil producer.