LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Tension in the Middle East could cause a hike in gas prices, according to new data released by the American Automobile Association-East Central. Unrest caused by civil war in Iraq is threatening to disrupt oil production, which would end a three year trend of gas prices dropping in the month of June on an average of 20 cents per gallon.
The national gas price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.66 per gallon. This price is up from the same point last year by about a nickel per gallon. In fact, the national average has increased about two cents per gallon for the last six days.
National gas prices are predicted to be between $3.55-3.70 a gallon this summer, but civil war in Iraq could cause these prices to increase.
The implications of this situation have affected Kentucky much like the rest of the country. The average price for a gallon of gas in west central Kentucky is $3.65, just one cent below the national average. Kentucky as a whole has an average price of $3.75 a gallon, almost two cents more per gallon than the national average.
For the city of London, gas prices average around $3.69 per gallon, slightly higher than the national and west central Kentucky average, but below the state average.
The global market is said to be closely monitoring the situation in Iraq, as the spread of violence to other countries could result in further threats to oil production.
Director of Public Affairs for AAA-East Central Teresa Thomas said that forecasting what gas prices will look like in the coming months is tricky.
“It is very difficult to say at this point due to uncertainty in Iraq,” said Thomas in regard to rising gas prices. Thomas said that gas prices “are likely to remain high all summer, and may increase over the next week due to the conflict in Iraq.”