Husson Dean Says We Haven’t Seen the End of Rising Gas Prices 

Some experts say the ongoing unrest in the Middle East is impacting gas prices here in North America.On Tuesday, the price of oil jumped six percent to 95 dollars a barrel.Pumping gas was always a necessity for Bangor resident Bob Wheeldon, but the increase in gas prices has made it a luxury.”It’s affected money we put into groceries. We gotta save more money for gas,” he said.Like many consumers, he’s become more cautious when he pulls up to the pump.According to price tracking website, Maine Gas Prices, the average price of gas in Maine is $3.22, up 52 cents from the same time last year.Ron Nykiel, Dean of the College of Business at Husson University, says the average price of gas was almost a dollar less in 2009. He believes it won’t be long until prices reach record numbers.”My prediction would be that probably in the near term, we’re going to see $3.40 to $3.60 and in the long term we could see $3.80 to $4 a gallon,” he said.Nykiel says turmoil in the Middle East coupled with increase in supply and demand creates the perfect storm.Libya is the world’s 18th largest oil producer.”As you’ve seen record snowfalls, record snow the supply has been sucked up much faster than normal. When you add the Middle East turmoil in, that’s why I call it a tsunami. It’s all coming together and unfortunately it’s impacting the price.”Gas station owners say they’re feeling the heat as many frustrated customers blame them but in reality gas is the lowest profit margin item.”It’s not a whole lot of money, we don’t make much off of it, sometimes we don’t make hardly anything off of it,” says Tony Brown with Tradewinds Carwash.Brown and his staff at the store on Union Street say their business is in washing cars.They’ve listened to their customers and are giving them a break, offering a five cent discount on gas.”We do our best to please our customers and give them as many discounts as we can,” he said.