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Cornelius News

Oil analyst predicts quick 15-cent increase in gas prices

Prices at Circle K Feb. 24: $3.599 for regular, $4.049 for plus, $4.199 for premium

Feb. 24. By Dave Yochum. Gas prices are expected to climb: Oil and gas analyst Tom Kloza told Cornelius Today that gas prices, already around $3.40 a gallon or more in Cornelius, could jump 15 cents by the weekend in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The national average gas price is about $3.54 a gallon, up from $2.65 just a year ago. A fast online survey of gas stations in Cornelius shows pre-lunchtime prices running from $3.40 a gallon (Cashion’s) to $3.59 a gallon (QuikTrip).

Oil expert

Kloza, chief global analyst for the Oil Price Information Service, said prices may go even higher if Russian oil is cut off due to sanctions. 

[Brent crude oil briefly jumped above $100 a barrel in London for the first time since 2014.]

“Most of the increase we’ve already seen is about the perception maybe not the reality,” Kloza said. “Ukraine is just salt in the wound.”

Room for optimism

The bright side is that tighter supplies and higher prices could lead to more drilling. Then, too, “rapprochement with Iran” could open the flow of that nation’s crude to US refineries.

…and pessimism

Speaking of which, North Carolina is dependent on gasoline coming from refineries in Texas and Louisiana. Kloza said two of the Louisiana refineries have closed.

“In North Carolina prices will go up 15 cents very quickly, then the normal increase as we switch from winter to summer fuel. You’re one of the states that’s going to have those $4 prices,” Kloza said. “If Russian oil gets cut off, it could be even worse, but let’s not look at that right now.”