Fuel prices expected to soar amid crisis in Ukraine

(NBC) If you pump gas or pay a heating bill, you’re already on the economic frontlines of the showdown in Ukraine.

Home heating oil is up 56% in a year. Gasoline is now averaging $3.51 nationally, up from $2.63 a year ago.

While the strong economy and inflation sent prices soaring last year, it’s the showdown in Ukraine that’s helping to drive prices higher right now.

Russia is a member of OPEC and the world’s third-largest exporter of oil and gas.

And on the oil market, prices are set globally, not locally.

The potential that war, international sanctions, and counter-sanctions could reduce global supply is a big reason why Americans are paying even more on “Main Street.”

The Ukraine showdown could soon push those fuel prices to record-breaking levels.

Gasbuddy.com’s Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick Dehaan said, “We’re talking about $4 a gallon nationally. California could hit five, probably even beyond that California could reach 5.50 and even could near that $6 gallon mark.”

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