$4 gas could morph to $5 following Russian invasion of Ukraine

California gas could see a statewide average of $5 per gallon

Prices at gas pumps across the nation are projected to rise between 20 and 30 cents for motorists, or more, driven by surging crude oil prices after Russia invaded Ukraine. 

Brent Crude prices topped $100 per barrel on Wednesday, before closing at $99.08 per barrel. While U.S. crude neared $99 per barrel, before easing and closing at $92.81 per barrel. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
USO UNITED STATES OIL FUND L.P. 74.78 -6.89 -8.44%
BNO UNITED STS BRENT OIL FD LP UNIT 30.82 -2.52 -7.56%

Although there hasn't been a disruption in supplies yet, "buyers are shying away from purchasing Russian crude oil," Andy Liptow, president of Lipow Oil Associates, LLC. said in a note to FOX Business. "They are concerned that either the oil or the tanker that the oil is loaded on might end up entangled in financial sanctions," he added. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
UGA UNITED STATES GASOLINE FUND LP PARTNERSHIP UNITS 63.93 -6.33 -9.01%

For U.S. motorists, this means the national average price of a gallon gasoline and diesel, which are sitting at $3.54 and $3.96 respectively, could rise another "20 to 30 cents on each," according to Liptow. This would push prices to around $3.85 per gallon for gasoline and $4.25 for diesel, Liptow projected. 

In California, gasoline prices, which have already hit a record-high of $4.77, could be "headed toward a statewide average of $5," Liptow added. Currently, the price of diesel has already surpassed that, sitting at $5.04 a gallon.   

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The U.S. expanded sanctions against Russia late Thursday, yet President Biden did not include the energy industry. 

"On our sanctions package, we specifically designed to allow energy payments to continue. We are closely monitoring energy supplies for any disruption. We've been coordinating with major oil producing and consuming countries toward our common interest to secure global energy supplies," Biden explained. 

Signage is seen on a gasoline pump at an Exxon gas station in Brooklyn, New York City, Nov. 23, 2021.  (REUTERS/Andrew Kelly / Reuters)

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A gas pump is seen in a car at a Shell gas station in Washington, D.C., May 15, 2021.  (REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo / Reuters Photos)

IRAN COULD SUPPLY AN 'INITIAL 1.3 MILLION BARRELS A DAY' TO GLOBAL MARKET IF NUCLEAR DEAL REACHED, EXPERT SAYS

Currently, the U.S. and Iran have not come to an agreement on a new nuclear deal, which is keeping at least 1.3 million barrels per day of Iranian oil off the market, according to Liptow. 

If this oil were to be released into the global market, it would help drive oil prices down. Liptow previously predicted that the oil market would fall by $3 to $5 a barrel if any deal was greenlighted.