Experts say gas prices could hit $5 per gallon amid war in Ukraine

Rising oil costs over Russian attack could impact gas prices for months, years, experts say

The cost of oil has risen worldwide due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and prices are rising for U.S. drivers in response. In Michigan, gas prices have risen by nearly 20 cents in just days.

Gasoline prices are rising sharply in Michigan and throughout the U.S. due to rising oil costs caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Officials warned last month that fuel costs could rise in the U.S. if Russia decided to invade its neighbor and former Soviet nation Ukraine -- and it did. Now, as the fighting in Ukraine reaches its eighth day, the cost of oil has risen higher than initially projected.

As of Thursday morning, the barrel price of oil is $115, compared to $61 one year ago. Double that price for the refiner, and by the time it gets here to Michigan, a gallon of regular gasoline could soon reach $5, experts say.

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), the current national average price for gasoline is $3.72 per gallon, which is up 26 cents from last month, and up about one dollar from last year.

“Over the course of the weekend, it would not be surprising that motorists could step outside, see the gas station, and prices could go up 20, 30, even 40 cents a gallon in some of these areas,” said Patrick Dehaan from GasBuddy.

Related: Higher gas prices cut into profits for people who have to drive to make a living

Oil prices are rising worldwide due to the conflict in Eastern Europe. Here’s why: Russia is the world’s second largest oil exporter, and several nations have imposed sanctions on the country amid the war. Russia’s oil exports are now under what amounts to a ban, as shippers are refusing Russian oil, countries are turning away Russian tankers and banks are refusing to extend credit to Russia.

In Michigan, the average price per gallon is $3.74 as of Thursday, according to AAA. On Wednesday, March 2, the average was $3.62. On Monday, March 1, the average was $3.55. So, the state has seen a jump of nearly 20 cents in just days.

See: List: Comparing Metro Detroit gas prices amid war in Ukraine

And consumers aren’t only going to feel the effects of rising costs at the pump: airline tickets are also likely to become more expensive, with jet fuel surging 35 cents per gallon in just two days.

Experts say higher fuel costs could last for months or years -- and this year alone, American families could pay an extra $600-$700 just for gasoline.

From Tuesday: Nations agree to release 60M barrels of oil amid Russian war

About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.