Oil prices spiked Sunday after Hamas militants launched an attack on Israel the day before. But USA Today reported that experts don’t expect a long-term impact on oil and gas prices.
In the meantime, prices at the pump are dropping in the United States.
“For the foreseeable future — for the next, shall we say, 15 to 40 days — people are going to see gas prices dropping,” said Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at Oil Price Information Service, per USA Today. “Longer term, it’s a concern.”
While Israel and Palestine are not major oil producers, the conflict is unfolding in a major oil-producing region. Neighboring Saudi Arabia is a world leader in oil exports.
“It’s a developing situation,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at gas price tracker GasBuddy.
The conflict likely won’t impact gas prices “unless the fighting spreads to other countries that do produce a significant amount of oil, as has happened sometimes in the past,” he told USA Today.
Prices for U.S. crude oil, which is refined into gasoline, jumped Monday, according to USA Today. West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark U.S. crude, climbed 4.4%, topping $86 a barrel.
On Monday, a gallon of regular gas cost $3.70 on average in the United States, according to motor vehicle club AAA. Gas prices are down from this time last week, last month and last year.
In Utah, the average price is $4.04, AAA reported.
Why are gas prices dropping?
Pump prices typically fall in autumn as the summer travel season ends.
“There’s quite a few chess pieces here,” Kloza said, per USA Today. “But you can bet on the fact that gasoline is on a downward trend that is going to take us through Halloween or later.”
Gas prices hit an all-time high of $5.02 on June 14, 2022, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Israel-Hamas conflict may stop the seasonal decline in prices, Kloza said. But analysts don’t expect a big bump in oil and gas prices as long as nothing in that conflict threatens the world oil supply.