TAMPA, Fla. - Oil and gas prices spiked last week after concerns Libya's oil exports would be disrupted became a reality. Libya supplies more than 1.6 million barrels of crude a day and disruptions cut exports by approximately one million barrels.
However, OPEC came forward and said there is no supply shortage since they are able to make up the loses from Libya. OPEC member, Saudi Arabia, said they have increased output by more than nine million barrels a day. Still, investors and other stake holders in the oil industry are concerned the unrest and turmoil in the Mideast could spread to neighboring countries and further affect oil supply.
"Oil and retail gas prices are forecast to rise again this week as the unrest continues in the Mideast," said Jessica Brady, spokesperson, AAA Auto Club South. "It's uncertain how the turn of events in the Mideast will unfold and therefore hard to forecast how retail gas prices will be affected; whether they will continue to rise or if consumers can expect a break anytime soon."
Crude oil settled Friday at $97.88 a barrel at close of the New York Mercantile Exchange - $11.68 more than last week.
The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.35 per gallon, an increase of 19 cents from last week. Florida's average price of $3.38 increased 23 cents. Georgia's average price $3.28 also rose 19 cents from last week. And, Tennessee's average price of $3.23 increased 21 cents from last week, respectively.
CURRENT AND PAST PRICE AVERAGES
Regular Unleaded Gasoline
Current Week Ago Month Ago Year Ago
National: $3.354 $3.168 $3.100 $2.703
Florida: $3.383 $3.150 $3.124 $2.759
Georgia: $3.286 $3.094 $3.003 $2.637
Tennessee: $3.235 $3.021 $2.953 $2.602
AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report (fuelgaugereport.com) is updated each day and is the most comprehensive; reflecting actual prices from credit card transactions within the past 24 hours at two-thirds (100,000 stations) of the gasoline stations in the U.S. Its accuracy is unparalleled.