Militants stormed Iraq’s main oil refinery this week and were driven back by the country’s military, escalating fears of a looming Iraqi civil war. It’s prompted a modest rise in gasoline prices in the U.S., according to Gail Weinholzer, spokeswoman for AAA Iowa.
“Unfortunately, anytime there’s significant political unrest in the Middle East, it tends to have a negative impact on our gas prices,” Weinholzer says. “We’ve seen crude oil rise from $102 a barrel to $107 a barrel over the last week or so.” The average gas price in Iowa is $3.53 a gallon, which is up about nine-cents from a month ago.
Iowa’s average price is 14-cents below the national average. Weinholzer says she doesn’t anticipate pump prices will climb much higher, but it’s difficult to predict. “I don’t know that we’ll necessarily see a significant increase from where we are,” Weinholzer says. “It’ll depend upon how long the situation in Iraq lasts and whether it spreads to any other Middle East country. Iraq is the second-largest exporter of crude oil, after Saudi Arabia, in the Middle East.”
In Iowa, the cheapest average gas price is in Davenport at $3.47 a gallon, while Des Moines has the most expensive gas, averaging $3.58.