CHICAGO (CBS) — Gasoline prices could approach $5 a gallon by Memorial Day and stay a record levels for much of the summer, according to a forecast by GasBuddy.com.

Gas prices always spike in the summer, but the 2012 Gasbuddy.com Price Outlook predicts this summer will break records.

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“It looks like it might be the most painful year at the pump that we have ever seen,” senior analyst Patrick DeHaan said.

By Memorial Day, gasoline in the Chicago area could rise to between $4.60 and $4.95 a gallon–more than a dollar above the current average.

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DeHaan says there are several factors that will cause the increase, and one of them is a double-edged sword.

“The economy continues to improve; it continues to push up our demand for crude oil,” he said.

Another factor is Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions. As the United States imposes sanctions, the country responds with threats to close a key oil transit pathway: The Strait Of Hormuz.

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