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Venezuelan conflict potentially pushing gas prices higher - The Red and Black : Athens

Venezuelan conflict potentially pushing gas prices higher

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Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014 12:00 pm | Updated: 1:23 pm, Wed Apr 16, 2014.

With spring break coming up next week, many students will be preparing to travel to local beaches to spend time. But William Lastrapes, a professor in the department of economics in the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, said when there are disruptions to the supply of oil by oil-producing countries, as is the case with Venezuela, it tends to push up the price.

“Uncertainty can lead to predictions of scarcity and if traders of oil think that shocks are going to cause the price of oil to rise they tend to speculate and draw the price up,” Lastrapes said. “And I think we’re seeing some of that. When the supply of something goes down, that tends to draw the price up and some of these disruptions in these countries are probably leading to that.”

Lastrapes said though there is constant fluctuation with gas prices, these increases don’t tend to persist beyond the events that take place.

“If and when stability comes [to] Venezuela, the price of oil will stabilize as well,” Lastrapes said. “Since crude oil is an input in the price of gasoline, the price of gas will tend to follow the price of crude oil.”

College students will unfortunately have to accept the high prices of gas as they travel for vacation, or else stay home, Lastrapes said.

“Reduction and consumption would tend to mitigate the rise but wouldn’t necessarily cause the price to go back down,” Lastrapes said.

Here are some of the gas prices that can be expected in popular vacation spots:

As of press time, the national average is $3.452 per gallon and the Georgia average is $3.285.

In Athens, gas prices ranged from $3.15 per gallon at Sam’s Club to $3.49 at BP.

Gulf Shores, Ala. gas prices ranged from $3.27 per gallon at Gulf-N-Golf and Murphy USA to $3.35 at BP.

Gas prices ranged from $3.34 at Exxon to $3.49 at Chevron in Panama City Beach, Fla.

Gas prices in Destin, Fla. ranged from $3.34 at Murphy USA to $3.49 at Chevron.

In Miami, gas prices ranged from $3.27 at Marathon to $3.41 at Hess.

Orlando, Fla. gas prices ranged from $3.28 at RaceTrac to $3.33 at RaceWay.

In the Atlanta area, gas prices ranged between $3.01 at Texaco and $3.21 at Murphy USA.

In Daytona Beach, Fla., gas prices ranged from $3.38 per gallon at the West Interanational Speedway Boulevard Sunoco to $3.59 at the N. Beach Street

Sunoco. Savannah gas prices ranged from $3.23 per gallon at Shell to $3.33 at Texaco.

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