Gas prices on the rise in Mid-Missouri

Political unrest in Egypt and Syria to blame for spike in gas prices

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Gas prices have skyrocketed to $3.77 in Columbia. Over the past ten days, the average price of gas in Missouri has shot up nearly 40 cents.

Experts blame the spike on actions in the Middle East. They're hoping the prices will fall back down soon, but they aren't sure how much longer it will last.

Experts told ABC 17 News the prices have shot up fast enough that it hasn't affected sales. They say if the prices continue to rise, people will change their driving habits, but the prices are dependent on what the traders see going on in the Middle East.

Petroleum experts say the price of oil is increasing because of political unrest in Egypt and Syria. They believe most of the global traders are becoming scared to buy and are unsure what the future of the products will be.

"Especially the distribution and production throughout the Middle East and as a result they're driving up the price on the markets which is translating to higher prices at the pump," said Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association Executive Director Ron Leone.

Even though prices have shot up in Missouri, they are still cheaper than the national average, but that's not comforting to drivers.

Drivers say it's causing stress to them and their employers' bottom line. They're already having to change how and where they drive.

"Condense all the customers in a time frame so we don't have to travel so much because we're so spread out with all the driving, the gas prices are just killing us right now," truck driver Travis Burton said.

Some experts say this is just a phenomenon. They believe there is a chance prices could continue to increase before going down, but they do not know when that will be.

"I think soon commodities, traders, will start getting a little more comfortable and see that the unrest in the Mideast is not impacting production or distribution," Leone said.

According to a report from the federal government released on Tuesday, the national average could increase another 15 cents before falling.

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