(Jon Clements/For The Examiner)
The rising cost of oil may increase
Baltimore-Washington-area gas prices
to $3.40 per gallon by December, a
financial adviser said.
Crude oil prices have crept toward $100
per barrel, but the biggest hit at the pump
for motorists is yet to come, local
“It lags through the economy,” said
Richard Clinch, an economist at the
University of Baltimore.
Crude oil futures for December hit a high
Wednesday morning of $98.62 per barrel on
the New York Mercantile Exchange, before
slipping to lower levels.
Meanwhile, the price at the pump
nationwide rose overnight by .019 cents to
$3.043 per gallon for regular gas. In the
Baltimore metro area, prices rose .014 cents
to an average of $2.938 per gallon,
according to AAA.
Prices in the Baltimore-Washington area
may reach $3.40 per gallon, said Robert
Wasilewski, a portfolio manager with
Baltimore-Washington Financial Advisors. The
current increases in oil have only started
to translate to the pump, he said, and it
could be about a month before the current
record levels hit local gas stations.
The spike in oil prices has been years in
the making, as suppliers have struggled to
increase production capabilities, according
to Justin Perucki, an equity analyst
specializing in oil and gas for Morningstar,
a Chicago-based investment research firm.
Perucki said gas prices may not rise as high
as some have predicted.
“They’re two separate supply-and-demand
markets,” he said. “Even though oil prices
are high, it doesn’t always translate into
high gas prices.”
Clinch added that the effect on the
economy of higher gas prices has been much
more contained than in the past, with the
nation in recent decades turning into an
“Why isn’t this a disaster when it was in
the 1970s? At that point we had a less
fuel-efficient economy,” he said. “When we
made steel, there were trucks and things,
and that was more energy-intensive.”
Gas prices may go up, but Wasilewski said
it could have happened at a worse time, with
the big oil increases coming now rather than
at the start of the summer driving season.
“It isn’t good if we have a real cold
winter,” he said. “But it’s not as bad as if
it was the summer.”