Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

June 17, 2014

Iraq conflict raising Ga. gas prices

VALDOSTA — Motorists should expect the escalation of violence in Iraq to raise gas prices, according to the AAA Auto Club Group Monday.

“Motorists should be ready for gas prices to increase around 5-10 cents,” said Mark Jenkins, a AAA spokesperson. “The price hike could continue depending on the duration of this conflict.”

Consumers were enjoying a “streak of declines” prior to the latest news from Iraq in the past week. Average gas prices fell 44 consecutive days in Georgia and 51 days in Florida until the Iraq violence increased oil prices.

“Crude oil prices had its biggest weekly gain of this year because of the violence in Iraq,” according to AAA. “The cost for a barrel of oil closed last Friday at $106.91 on the NYMEX — $4.25 more than the week prior ($102.66).”

Still, even with the bump in gas prices during the weekend, costs are in many cases below prices from a month ago, according to state averages, but these prices may continue to rise with new developments in Iraq.

The nation is the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) second largest producer of crude oil.

“The market is concerned that violence will spread to the main oil-producing areas in southern Iraq and threaten supplies,” according to AAA. “In addition, continued conflict could delay the re-opening of a key pipeline in the region that has been closed since March. Saudi Arabia, the top OPEC producer, could be urged to increase supplies to offset potential shortages and meet growing global demand.”

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