Gasoline could soon cost $5 a gallon or higher as prices continue to rise across the United States, an energy strategist said.
Dan Dicker, founder of The Energy Word, told Yahoo Finance Live that the $5 a gallon price will likely start as soon as oil prices per barrel hit triple digits. According to GasBuddy, barrels cost $94 last week, and this week marks the seventh in a row that gas prices have been rising.
The increase can be attributed to tensions between Russia and Ukraine, as, according to the Yahoo report, Russia produces 10 million barrels of oil per day, which constitutes about 10 percent of the world's demand. Losing access to the oil can create ripple effects in prices around the world.
Dicker added that it probably won't stop at $5 a gallon, telling Yahoo that prices could leap as high as $7 after the barrel price reaches $100.
Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in the company's Monday report that most of the nation is transitioning to summer gasoline, further driving up prices. Recent cold weather in Texas that caused power outages at major refineries has also caused stress on the market, he added.
"I see no other potentials in the short term but additional price increases unless Russia does an about-face on Ukraine," De Haan said. "Even then, we'll still see seasonality push prices up, so motorists should be ready to dig deeper."
According to GasBuddy, the national average gas price currently stands at $3.47 a gallon. That's 16.5 cents higher than last month and 97.2 cents higher than last year.
In the 10 percent most expensive gas stations—largely in states like California, Hawaii and Washington—the average price is $4.40 a gallon. In the 10 percent least expensive ones—mostly in states like Oklahoma, Mississippi and Texas—the average stands at $3.04. The higher average is up .01 from last week, while the lower average is up .06, the report added.
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have escalated in recent weeks as Russia added troops and equipment at its western border. According to the GasBuddy report, political moves have been reflected in the gas market. For example, the U.S. saying that Russia could invade Ukraine at any moment led to a temporary increase of $3 per barrel.