Tampa Bay Gas Prices Likely To Surpass $4 Per Gallon, Expert Says

by: Dylan Abad

Posted: / Updated:

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Gas prices across the Tampa Bay area rose nearly 40 cents over the last week. The dramatic rise in prices at the pump have been felt by communities across Florida and the United States.

As of Saturday, the average price for a gallon of gas in Tampa was just under $3.87, according to data from Gasbuddy. Just five days earlier, the average price was $3.48 per gallon — an 11% increase.

“Obviously we’ve seen some pretty dramatic increase here over the last few days,” GasBuddy’s Head of Petroleum Analysis, Patrick De Haan said. “It just does not stop, but it may start to improve.”

In a virtual presentation, De Haan said gas prices have already gone up in some instances, “50, 60, 70 cents over the last few weeks.” He added, “there will be more increases coming, maybe to the tune of 20 to 30 cents per gallon.”

De Haan said he expects the United States national average to hit $4.00 a gallon. On Saturday, the U.S. National average was $3.98 per gallon.

“That’s probably something that’s less than two or three weeks away. We are likely to set all-time new records in the U.S.,” De Haan added. “That all-time record in the U.S. is $4.10 back in 2008. That’s something that could happen by April Fools’ Day.”

De Haan said U.S. sanctions on Russian banks and shipping companies are largely to blame for the rising prices.

“While the U.S. has not yet directly put sanctions on Russia’s energy, previous sanctions on Russia’s banking and shipping industries is essentially putting a chokehold on Russian oil exports which have plummeted,” De Haan said. “Certainly those existing sanctions are having a significant impact, and that is why oil prices have continued to go up in recent days because of the chokehold on Russia’s exports.”

In the last week, U.S. crude oil prices surged 13% to roughly $113 per barrel. The cost of natural gas also reached a record in Europe as the war stoked market fears about a supply shock, the Associated Press reported.

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