Feb 23, 2011
As oil prices race toward $100 a barrel, the expectations that gasoline prices will make a leap are running high.
Some traders say $4 a gallon will be a reality in the not-too-distant future, and prices could shoot even higher. But that might be the exception rather than the average in the United States this year unless the Middle East unrest  spreads to Saudi Arabia or another major oil producer, according to Thomas Kloza, chief analyst at OPIS.
“The edges of the country and the coasts will see higher prices than the interior of the country where they can use domestic and Canadian crude. I think the prices are going to top out at $3.50 to $3.75,” per gallon, said Kloza.
“I don’t think we’re about to embark on a launch pad for another 2008. We went up to $4.11 by the summer. We went to nearly $5 for diesel,” he said. He said the level where consumers start to feel real pain  at the pump is about $3.80 to $4 per gallon.