By Angela Musallam

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A surge in gas prices is continuing, now with fears of a military uprising in Syria and trade conflict with China.

Petroleum analysts say gas prices in the U.S. are expected continue a rise to the highest level since 2015. One local economics expert says there are more local factors at play, which are driving gas prices up.

Herb C drives for a living, and for him, filling up gas is an everyday thing.

With gas prices expected to surge, Herb says he’s slashing his vacation plans this summer.

“I do a lot of traveling, I tow motorcycles back and forth, it’s a loss for me in the summer because gas is so high,” he said.

“Today the national average hit $2.68 per gallon, that’s the highest level in 1,000 days,” said petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan.

DeHaan says the increase is due to the trade conflict with China, and fears over a military uprising in Syria. He says the surge can also be traced back to OPEC.

“The basis for higher prices is traced to 2016 agreement OPEC made to cut back oil production,” said DeHaan.

Sacramento economics expert Thom Kelly says the rise in gas prices has more to do with supply and demand, than international conflict.

“Warm weather out in the West has caused driving to go up a lot more than expected,” Kelly said.

CBS13 asked Kelly how that can impact refineries here in the U.S. and in California?

“There’s some troubling refineries in the state, a couple of them are down for scheduled maintenance and once those come back online we will have more gasoline coming in, until that point we can expect prices to go up,” added Kelly.

He remains optimistic and says there’s a big chance gas production in the U.S. will bounce back by summer, eliminating any need to hike up prices to $5 a gallon.

No matter what the case, some drivers say there’s nothing they can do, but to gas up and move on.

“It’s not really gonna change my plans. It is what it is; if I want to go to Donner Lake I’m gonna go and I have to get gas to get there,” said another driver.

Higher gas prices are expected to stick around for the next few weeks, and Kelly says he expects rates to drop off by summer.


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