By Molly Daly
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — AAA Mid-Atlantic is reporting that the national average price of a gallon of gasoline has risen three cents since last week, even though gas prices traditionally drop at the this time of year. So exactly how is the civil war in Iraq affecting the availability and cost of gas?
Gas Buddy Chief Oil Analyst Tom Kloza says since the start of hostilities, there’s been just a modest increase in prices.
“There’s a lot of hyperbole out there,” he says. “We haven’t seen a spike, or skyrocketing, we’ve seen a slow drift higher, and I suspect, if not for Iraq, we would’ve seen a slow drift lower into the middle of the summer.”
Kloza says Iraq is a big player in the oil market, with most of the 2.6 million barrels a day it exports coming from the south, so far untouched by the current conflict. If that should change, we’d take a hit. But, Kloza says…
“The offset to it is that the United States is now producing about 3 million barrels a day more crude than we were when the first Arab Spring dawned in 2011.”
Kloza says a different kind of disturbance is a more likely threat.
“The thing that might impact our prices the most down,” he says, “is what happens in the Gulf of Mexico with hurricane season.”