Conflict in Iraq could send prices higher at the gas pumps

NEW YORK (CNN) – The summer driving season is in full swing and, with new conflict in Iraq, prices at the pump may climb higher than many expected.

Still far from ideal for drivers’ wallets, gas prices weren’t supposed to take too much of a ride this summer, pretty much on par with last summer’s range.

However, the increase in violence in Iraq, the march on major cities by Islamic militants could push prices higher. Obviously, if in fact, ISIL is able to be taken control over major output significant refineries, which could be a source of concern.

Oil markets were counting on Iraq to increase stability over the next few years, and with that, increase its output. Iraq produces about 3.3 million barrels of oil a day, the second biggest producer in OPEC after Saudi Arabia. Since oil prices are influenced by what “might” happen in the future, even fears of losing Iraq’s supply can force oil prices higher, a cost eventually passed on to consumers.

For people at the pumps, it’s a bad scene, because there are no real reasons for oil to drop here. The risks continue to remain on the upside. Iraq is only one of several geopolitical issues that are out there. And in fact we’re going to see higher prices at the pumps.

Higher prices but not the highest prices that Americans have seen at the pump in recent years. Many analysts don’t expect to see U.S. gas prices pass a nationwide average of four dollars per gallon.

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