Oil prices surged to nearly $107 per barrel in the United States Monday, which is the highest level reached since September 2008, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The average price at the pump in the nation reached $3.52 a gallon as concern has grown that political unrest in Libya, disrupting curde oil production, could last longer than initially expected. The retail gas price average jumped 13.7 cents from the previous week.
Oil accounts for about two-thirds of the retail price of gas, according to the newspaper. In New York futures trading, West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery closed at $105.44 Monday, $1.02 more than Friday’s stock market close, but lower than Monday’s high of $106.95.
There has been some talk about whether to releases oil from the United States’ 727 million barrel reserve, White House spokesman Jay Carney told the Los Angeles Times, however that depends on if there’s a major disruption in oil production.
Expert James DiGeorgia, editor of GoldAndEnergyAdvisor.com, told the Times that if political unrest spreads to Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, oil prices could reach $120-$130 per barrel, which would lead to about $5 per gallon pump prices.