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A Ukraine invasion could send gas prices over $5 in some areas

February 14, 2022, 3:49 PM UTC

Escalating tensions in Ukraine are being blamed for the rapidly rising price of gas—and things could go notably higher if war breaks out in the country.

The price of a regular gallon of gas is up four cents from a week ago and is 18 cents higher than a month ago, according to AAA. At the same time, Brent crude oil futures hit a seven-year high Monday.

Brent futures spiked as high as $95.43 early Monday before retreating to the $93 range. And some energy ministers fear we could see $100 a barrel prices in the coming days, depending on whether Russia invades the former Soviet republic.

Oil prices haven’t topped $100 per barrel since 2014. At the time, the average price per gallon hit a high of $3.70. That’s the equivalent of $4.29 per gallon today. (Note that national averages don’t reflect the price in several big states. California is already looking at prices of $4.70 per gallon—and a surge could put those well over $5.)

OPEC has been having trouble ramping up production in recent months, which could further exacerbate the issue in the event of an invasion.

Roughly 100,000 soldiers are currently conducting high-profile military exercises on Ukraine’s borders; U.S. officials have said an invasion could happen before the Olympics are over.

U.S. officials have warned of sanctions should Russia proceed with the land grab, but Morningstar analysts say they believe the West won’t sanction oil, as that would cause as much trouble at home as it would for Russia.

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