A barrel of oil settled Friday at $99 on the New York Mercantile Exchange--$2.58 more than the week prior.
The Federal Reserve’s announcement last week to move forward with more stimulus measures in an effort to spur economic growth caused oil prices to jump. In addition, the escalated violence in the Mideast and North Africa has led to concerns of supply disruptions. This comes at a time when Iran’s output is down because of sanctions against the country. In 2011, the Middle East and North Africa were responsible for approximately 36 percent of global oil production.
"With the stimulus announcement and increased tensions overseas, it’s surprising oil prices are not above $100 a barrel,” said Jessica Brady, AAA spokeswoman, The Auto Club Group. "However, it’s very likely the cost of a barrel of oil will surpass $100 this week, as concerns of a supply disruption in the Middle East intensify.
"Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like motorists will see much of a decrease, if any, at the pump, as initially expected this time of year. Instead, gas prices are likely to increase.”
The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.86, 3 cents more than last week. Florida’s average of $3.81 and Tennessee’s average of $3.67 both increased 2 cents from a week ago today. While Georgia’s average of $3.77 fell 4 cents from last week, respectively. Visit AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report to find national, state, and local metro market retail gasoline prices.
Current and past gas price averages: National: