San Francisco has become the first city in the United States to breach an average of $5 a gallon, according to an industry expert as the Russia-Ukraine conflict juices oil prices, which topped $113 in trading Thursday.
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"It's been quite ugly as gas prices rise nationally, but nowhere has the pain been more significant than California, where prices have breached the $5 gallon mark," Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, told FOX Business Thursday.
Currently, the state average for a gallon of regular gasoline in California is $4.940, according to AAA. It's a significant leap from the national average of about $3.728, according to AAA data.
De Haan wanred that prices "will continue to head north" and could even reach $5.35 per gallon by the end of March.
For several weeks, there have been widespread fears that sanctions placed on Russia would threaten the global oil market, already facing a tight supply, and eventually drive up gas prices for U.S. motorists.
This week, the United States and other major governments agreed to release 60 million barrels of crude from stockpiles to stabilize supplies, but it failed to calm anxiety over Russia’s attack on Ukraine as oil prices still rose.
The loss of 10 million barrels a day of oil production "can't be offset by meager releases of oil," De Haan said pointing to the 60 million barrels of crude from stockpiles
"It would likely need to be more like 100-200 million barrels to have much effect," he added.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.