Experts Mixed on Whether Unrest in Iraq Will Affect U.S. Gas Prices

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The nation's largest motor club, AAA, says U.S. gas prices are rising as insurgents try to take control of Iraq's largest oil refinery. But experts at aren't convinced. GasBuddy Analyst Patrick DeHaan says news of the unrest has already hit the U.S. markets. "Refineries catching fire there really doesn't have an impact on what we pay in this country. That's because it doesn't disrupt oil flowing out of Iraq. That's the factor that would have to shift to cause prices to go up even more."

But as insurgents move further south in Iraq, experts say they could threaten large crude carriers loaded to export oil out of the country. DeHaan says, "Once insurgents get down there, if there is a disruption, it would probably cause oil prices to spike a decent amount, not to new record highs but it would probably be noticeable by motorists that are filling up in the days after."

Uncertainty just as the summer travel season gets underway. DeHaan believes drivers in Michigan can expect the usual up and downs when it comes to gas prices. He also doesn't think prices will
rise above $4.00 a gallon. "Be prepared for a price hike next week. But it has nothing to do with Iraq at this point. It's just because it's kind of how the way gas prices work in Lansing."

The average price for a gallon of regular in Lansing is $3.87. Last year at this time, it was slightly lower at $3.82.