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Will Crisis in Iraq Raise US Gas Prices?

Miguel Villagran/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Violence in Iraq seems to be pushing gasoline prices higher in the U.S. during a period that normally sees a slight reduction, but an oil analyst at Gas Buddy tells ABC News that prices are likely to rise only a little.  Tom Kloza says prices are likely to rise only a little.

"This is a little bit more of a petro-noia bout as opposed to a real sort of supply squeeze internationally," said chief oil analyst at Gas Buddy Tom Kloza, adding that hurricane season, specifically in the Gulf of Mexico, is a greater threat to the vacation driving season than the conflict in Iraq.

The fighting in Iraq is unlikely to impact the country's exports, according to Kloza. The Iraqi government is fighting to hold on to an oil refinery in Baiji, but Kloza says this is of greater concern to Iraqis who need fuel rather than the global oil export market.

This week, the Energy Department reported the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gas was $3.68, up only about a penny from the previous week's average. But even without oil from Iraq, he noted the U.S. is now producing more oil on its own than it has in the past.

"The United States is producing about three million barrels a day more than we were when the first Arab spring broke out," he said.

This summer driving season isn't likely to see the skyrocketing gas prices that some have feared in the wake of the escalating violence in Iraq.

"This should not be a summer that has high enough prices that really inhibits the driving season," he predicted to ABC News. "I think we're OK there."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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