BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Gas prices are continuing to surge across the country and in Western New York.
According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of regular gas in the U.S. was up to $3.61 as of Monday morning. That's an eight-cent increase in the last week.
Part of the spike is being caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which caused crude oil prices to jump over $100 per barrel shortly after Russian troops entered Ukraine Thursday.
Oil prices remained around $100 per barrel Monday; as the conflict in Ukraine continues with further sanctions against Russia and retaliatory actions from Moscow, oil markets are expected to continue pushing the prices of crude oil up due to potential disruptions in the supply chain.
"It's really hard to tell how things will pan out," said AAA Director of Public Relations Elizabeth Carey. "If Russia withholds oil from the global prices go up because those oil prices will go up."
All of those factors mean even higher costs at the pump in Western New York.
In the Buffalo-Niagara region, the average price rose five cents week over week to $3.80 per gallon — on par with the state average. In Batavia, prices jumped seven cents to $3.75 per gallon.
Experts say the sticker shock isn't likely to end soon for consumers but there's no cause to panic.
"We're gonna wake up tomorrow in a week from now and in a month from now, there's still gonna be gasoline on the station down the street," said GasBuddy's Head of Petroleum Analysis Patrick De Haan. "What you may have to be ready for is a little bit of sticker shock and it might be because of seasonal factors, it could be because of something overseas, but we likely will not see gas prices hitting records any time in the next month or so."
De Haan said gas prices will continue rising over the next few months as well as more gas stations switch to their summer blends of gasoline and late spring and summer travel ramps up.