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Price of gas nearly $4 at pumps across Kentuckiana; Here's why

Saturday evening, the national average price of gas surpassed $4 a gallon "for the second time ever." The last time gas cost this much was in July 2008.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The price of gas across the U.S. has steadily risen over the past few weeks. One expert predicts the national average may reach $4 per gallon by the end of Saturday. 

In Louisville, the average cost of gas per gallon is about $3.99, a 61 cent increase from this time last week according to Gasbuddy. Prices are the same in Southern Indiana, at $3.99.

The overall price of gas per gallon in Kentucky is $3.81, whereas Indiana's overall average gas price is about $3.98.

Gasbuddy reports the current national average sits around $4.01.

Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at Gasbuddy, said the price will likely continue increasing as the wholesale price of gas remains high.

"There will be more increases coming," De Haan said. "Maybe to the tune of another 20 to 30 cents a gallon."

By Saturday evening, the national average had surpassed $4 a gallon, "for the second time ever." The nation's highest recorded average price per gallon ever, $4.10, was set in July 2008.

California has already surpassed an average of $5 a gallon, but De Haan said those prices won't be seen across the nation.

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Why is gas so high?

De Haan said the current increase in prices has never been seen before.

He said on March 3 gas prices rose by about six cents, which doesn't seem like a lot, but De Haan said that's the highest single-day increase ever recorded outside of August and September.

"Outside of August and September, which are hurricane season months, we've never seen such a large single-day increase in the national average outside of those two months," he said.

He said that recent sanctions on Russia's banking and shipping industries have "put a chokehold" on Russian oil exports.

"Western countries' previous sanctions on Russia are resulting in a near chokehold on Russia's oil exports, which is why oil prices are going up, and that is why gas prices are going up," De Haan said.

RELATED: US, other nations to sanction Russian central bank, partially block SWIFT

He said U.S. President Joe Biden and the International Energy Agency recently announced the collective release of 60 million barrels of oil, 30 million of those barrels coming from the U.S.

De Haan said last fall, the U.S. released 50 million barrels of oil, so "overall that 30 million barrel contribution from the U.S. is quite insignificant."

"The market has not reacted, prices are not going to slow down because of that release being so small. It will have very little impact," De Hann said, adding that more crude oil would need to be released to see any impact.

"We probably wouldn't see much reaction in oil unless we released 100, potentially 150, million barrels of crude oil now that we're seeing some disruption from Russia," he said.

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