Crisis In Libya Sends Gas Prices Even Higher

CHICAGO (CBS) — The chaos in Libya has caused oil prices to skyrocket.

As CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez reports, the price of crude oil was up to $98 a barrel on Wednesday, the highest rate in two years.

“I would seriously, seriously contemplate spending the $3 to drive out to the suburbs to fill the tank up there and maybe save $10,” driver Fred Scovell said.

Chicago area motorists said the recent spike in gas prices hits even harder in the city because of the numerous taxes at the pump.

“They’re out of control,” Scovell said. “I’m feeling it.”

A local Shell station manager said that, on Tuesday, the price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $3.58. On Wednesday, it shot up to $3.69 a gallon.

“Usually I fill up in the suburbs, but coming into the city I have no choice. It just gets tougher and tougher,” driver Nick Ward said.

The average price of gas in Chicago on Wednesday was $3.39 a gallon. In Illinois, the average was $3.30. Last week, those prices were $3.32 and $3.24, respectively.

“At some point push comes to shove and drivers aren’t going to drive the way they did before,” said Jack Ablin, an investment officer who watches gas prices closely.

Ablin, said that, unless things get worse in the Middle East, “I would expect crude will stay at this level and hopefully subside and come back down.”

For now, people are still driving, but they have to cut spending somewhere.

“Our cigarette sales go down and other things, drinks go down, just because of gas,” one gas station manager said.

Motorist Kaleisha Keenan said the higher gas prices make her nervous “because summertime’s approaching and is it going to go up even more?”

The AAA Motor Club said it expects prices to continue climbing until either things are resolved in Libya, or some other measures are taken to cut gas prices.

  • ramtrol

    OK, BIG OIL, that’s enough!!!! How about sharing your record profits with us common folks

  • Mike Finnerty

    Oil is far and away the largest U.S. import but Moammar Gadhafi’s Libya plays a relatively small role in those imports, according to WorldCity analysis of annual U.S. Census data released earlier this month.

    Libya accounted for 0.63 percent of the $260.1 billion in oil imports in 2010, the lowest percentage since the African nation began importing oil into the United States again in 2004. The $1.6 billion imported from Libya made it the United States’ No. 20-ranked import partner for oil. It ranked No. 19 the previous year.

    While Houston and New Orleans are the nation’s top two ports of entry for foreign oil, Houston and Philadelphia dominate U.S. oil imports from Libya.

    While Libya is not a big player in U.S. oil imports, it is nevetheless more important than either Egypt, where long-time leader Hosni Mubarek was forced from office by protests, or Tunisia, where the Middle Eastern protest movement was born. Egypt ranked as the United States’ 31st most important trade partner for oil and Tunisia as No. 40.

    The United States’ top five oil importing nations are Canada, at $260.1 billion, Saudi Arabia ($30 billion), Mexico ($29.4 billion), Venezuela ($29.1 billion) and Nigeria ($29.1 billion).They accounted for 64.2 percent of all oil imports into the United States in 2010.

    The $260.1 billion the United States imported in 2010 is the second-highest total on record, falling short only of the $353.5 billion imported in 2008, when oil prices spiked in the summer.

    The 2010 total remains 26.4 percent below the 2008 total but increased 3.7 percent over the 2009 total. The value of oil imported into the United States nevertheless grew rapidly over the course of the last decade. The 2010 total of $260.1 billion easily drawfs the 2003 total of $101.8 billion, when the total first topped $100 billion. In 1999, the total was $50.9 billion.

    We get LESS THAN 1% of our oil from Libya. SO WHY ARE OUR PRICES RISING????

  • Winning the Future « Is This Blog On?

    […] just want to make sure that Obama gets FULL credit for this, because if you listen to the media you’d think that it was little old Libya (Libia – ha ha ha) that did this too us. Or […]

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