Prices at the pump are up and we can expect them to go even higher. What's driving all of this is a combination of supply worries and geopolitical concerns. The overnight surge in oil prices continues a costly trend for consumers. Since Tuesday oil prices are up more than seven percent. In the last month 14 percent. In the last year nearly 50 percent. This time, Middle East tension is again to blame. Platt's Global Alert energy editor Kevin Saville said, "Obviously the Middle East is the greatest oil producing region on earth, and any instability in that region, whether its real or perceived, sends shivers down the market and will always have the effect of boosting the oil prices." Just Thursday the US announced new sanctions against Iran. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, "If Iran continues down a path of confrontation, the US will act, with the international community, to resist these threats." Analysts say any confrontation between the US, the world's largest oil consumer, and Iran, the fourth largest oil producer, could upend markets. Supply is once again another factor in oil price surge. US inventories are nearly five percent lower than they were last year, according to the energy department. So what does it mean to you? The likelihood of higher prices for gasoline, heating oil and natural gas in the near future. Energy analyst Phil Flynn said, "We could see heating bills, if you are heating your house with heating oil be as much as 30 percent higher than what they were a year ago." The higher oil prices haven't yet reached the gas pump. Analysts say that's because peak driving season is over and demand for gas is low. But the cost for a gallon of gas will slowly go up.
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