Already rising gas prices are expected to climb higher after Russia invaded Ukraine. A senior Defense official told USA TODAY Russia has massed all the forces to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
After Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops to regions in eastern Ukraine, President Joe Biden announced sanctions against Russia for a “flagrant violation of international law.”
As of Wednesday, the national average gas price in the U.S. is $3.54, according to AAA, up from $2.65 just a year ago. And experts project gas prices could top $4.
Here’s everything we know about the rise in gas prices.
INFLATION AND GAS PRICES:Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could push both higher.
$4 A GALLON FOR GAS? Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will only add fuel to the fire of high gas prices
Why are gas prices going up?
Experts fear the conflict between Russia and Ukraine could disrupt oil supplies in the region, which would lead to a bump in gas prices. Russia is the second-largest oil producer in the world, behind the U.S., said Tom Kloza, chief global analyst for the Oil Price Information Service.
Biden has said he is working to blunt any rise in gas prices caused by the invasion. “My administration is using every tool at our disposal to protect American businesses and consumers from rising prices at the pump,” he said.
Where does the US get its oil?
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, as of 2020, Russia contributed about 7% of gross petroleum imports to the U.S. Kloza said the U.S. gets about 3% of its oil from Russia.
Other countries from which the U.S. imports oil include Canada and OPEC, which comprises several countries including Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.
How much higher will gas prices rise?
Experts project much of the U.S. could see gas prices go up as high as $4 by early spring, and markets like California and Hawaii – where gas is already expensive – could top $5.
When will gas prices go down?
Kloza says prices will climb to $4 a gallon during the second quarter of this year before dropping to $3.30 a gallon in the second half of the year.
Paul Davidson, Michelle Shen, Michael Collins, Mabinty Quarshie and Josh Meyer contributed to this report. Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.