Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is already contributing to a spike in gas prices.
“I can't afford to fill up my tank. This gas price thing is just ridiculous and it’s not going to get any better,” said Barry Williams.
Drivers in Florida are paying an average price of $3.52 per gallon, according to AAA. It’s the most expensive daily average since July 2014.
“My husband is really starting to feel it because he just filled up the coach the other day and he posted it on Facebook. He just couldn’t believe how expensive it was,” said Deb Savarese.
The pain at the pump is about to get even worse.
“We do expect prices to go up a little bit more. I would think we will be seeing somewhere around $4.00 a gallon in Florida,” said Dr. Seckin Ozkul, Professor of Supply Chain Management at USF.
Russia is one of the largest oil-producing countries in the world. The United States and European nations stepped-up sanctions, including severing some Russian banks from Swift— an international payment system that connects thousands of financial institutions around the world. This will limit Russia's ability to export oil.
“As the supply drops, the prices are expected to rise. With the sanctions and also Russia possibly wanting to hold on to some of that oil for themselves for military operations. We are not getting as much as we used to from Russia for gas supply,” said Dr. Ozkul.
While the U.S. and European leaders plan on sparing Russia’s oil and natural gas exports, Dr. Seckin Ozkul, said the market is preparing for the unknown.
“It’s a global market situation right now because everyone is saying, am I going to be able to get that oil? Is there going to be additional sanctions? Is Russia going to be holding back because they need that gas for their own military operations and they need that oil and gas for their own military? So, there’s a lot of unknown and question marks and we don’t really know, therefore the prices are going up,” Dr. Ozkul said.
Dr. Ozkul expects prices to go back down the second half of this year.