Middle East Protests Pinch Mid-Missourians at the Pump

6 years 9 months 2 weeks ago Friday, February 25 2011 Feb 25, 2011 Friday, February 25, 2011 10:09:00 PM CST February 25, 2011 in Continuous News
By: Christie Nicks

COLUMBIA- With protests going on Friday in the Middle East, mid-Missourians will feel more of a pinch at the pump. Oil prices shot up in response to all the activity overseas and aren't expected to go down for a while.

As the protests turn violent in Libya, Saudi Arabia turned to its oil wells to make up for Libya's lack of production. Despite Saudi Arabia's step toward calming the fuel feud, oil prices spiked six cents Friday--the highest increase in one day since September 2008.

But MU assistant professor of political science Kate Floros said the increase comes as no surprise, but not because of the conflict overseas.

"Gas is not going to get cheap again,"Floros said, "It may not stay above three dollars forever, you know, it might come back down, but it's going to go back up again because the amount of oil is limited."

Floros also said the concern over the prices at the pump should not outweigh what Middle Eastern countries are doing--protesting for their rights.

Right now, the only slowdown in the oil supply is in Libya, but protests could spread to Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil supplier.

"The U.S. and most of the world is really dependent on not that many countries for the majority of our energy," said Floros.

If the Middle Eastern conflict does shift to Saudi Arabia, gas prices could see another increase.

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