UPDATED 03/01/11 7:12 a.m.
CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) — The cost of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline crept close to $4 at some Chicago stations, as prices at the pump spiked almost 10 cents over the weekend.
Late last week, the average price for a gallon of gasoline stood at $3.50–which was 17 cents higher than the week before, according to the AAA Chicago Motor Club.
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On Monday, the average price rose to $3.59, according to chicagogasprices.com. That would make prices in Chicago among some of the highest in the nation.
By Tuesday morning, that figure had risen to $3.61, although the Web site indicated that prices were falling.
Some Chicago stations were selling gasoline for as much $3.95 a gallon, according to chicagogasprices.com. Premium was selling for well over $4 a gallon at multiple stations within the city.
One year ago, Chicago motorists were paying an average of $2.84 a gallon. These are the highest prices seen since 2008.
Nationally, the average for a gallon of regular unleaded was $3.37.
Oil analyst Peter Beutel said unrest in the Libya, Egypt and the Middle East are playing into market jitters.
“The thing that is really grabbing traders’ attention, and scaring them very dramatically, is how quickly events are turning,” he said.
Oil prices were actually lower on Monday, trading at $97 a barrel, down from a high of nearly $100 last week.
It could get even worse, fuel analyst Phil Flynn says.
“Unless things calm down in the Middle East, we’re probably looking at the most expensive summer driving season ever,” he said.
Gas prices could hit the $4, even $5, mark.