CLEVELAND – Oil prices per barrel have reached $113, and that means the price you pay at the pump will continue to rise. The rising prices come at a time when big oil companies are enjoying record profits in the billions of dollars.
A survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and Wright Express puts the statewide average price for regular-grade gasoline at $3.86 a gallon, up 4 cents from last Monday’s average of $3.82.
Across the country, sticker shock is setting in at the pump. Some people are paying more than $100 just to fill up their tank. To put it into perspective, when prices go up by a dollar, that is $1,000 extra out of your pocket expenses each year.
Later this week, Exxon is expected to announce its profits are up 60 percent and that equals an extra $10 billion in their bank account. And despite profits like that, $6 a gallon for gas may not be as far away as you think. Experts say one natural disaster like a hurricane could take prices to that level quickly.
Also, the problems in Libya continue to increase the cost of oil per barrel. Libyan rebels said Sunday they won’t produce crude for at least a month as they repair fields damaged in fighting. Turmoil in Libya has contributed to a 34 percent surge in crude oil prices since mid-February.
At this point there is no oil shortage. This high prices are a result of worries and speculation over the turmoil in the Middle East.
Prices at Ohio gas pumps are up 30 cents from a month ago, when regular was averaging $3.56. Last year at this time the state’s motorists were paying an average $2.76, $1.10 less than the current price.