Gasoline prices continue to escalate after reaching their highest level since 2008, largely due to ongoing protests in oil-rich Libya. The average price per gallon in the United States rose nearly 28 cents in 10 days, CNN Money reported.
Since the uprising began on February 15, Dow Jones newswires reported that prices gained more than 23 percent. In 2010, Libya exported two million barrels each day. Now, the “International Energy Agency has said as much as 1 million barrels of oil per day have been removed from the market due to the crisis, and oil market participants are fearful that the violence could spread to other oil-producing nations” (ibid.).
The conflict has pushed prices to a 29-month high, and the U.S. Department of Energy warned that the higher prices will directly affect consumers: “The average American household will spend about $700 more for gasoline in 2011 than it spent last year...” (Reuters).
Experts predict the fuel-price crisis will worsen as riots continue in Libya and other oil-rich nations in the Middle East.