CHICAGO (CBS) — The growing instability roiling the Middle East could drive up the price of gas in this country, a Chicago energy expert says.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, Phil Flynn, oil analyst with Chicago’s PFGBEST and a Fox Business contributor, expects gas prices could increase by about 25 to 30 cents a gallon because of the crisis in Egypt. This is even though Egypt is not a major oil producer.

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“They’re a major transporter, and they’re a major stopgap in the Middle East. Really, down the Suez Canal, you can lose almost 1.8 million barrels a day of oil, and gasoline, and heating oil, and other products,” Flynn said.

The good news is that there is excess capacity in the system now, which could keep prices from rising as sharply as they otherwise might.

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But if the unrest spreads to Saudi Arabia, Flynn says, we will quickly be facing $5 per gallon gasoline.