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Oil Prices Thrashed By Conflict and Production Changes

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Oil Pump

Image: Paul Lowry

One commodity price that has enormous influence over the American mood is oil. Our country’s dependence on our vehicles to get to work, school, and other essential places means that when gas prices rise we all feel the pain in our budgets (unless you made the decision to buy an EV). Two major factors this month have had an effect on the cost of oil, and so far it seems as if prices at the pump will remain steady, or will possibly rise.

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Earlier this month, the Administration launched missiles at Syria. No matter how you feel about the military action in the Middle East, it’s a truth universally acknowledged that when things are not going well in the Middle East, gas prices will rise. In the day following the missile strikes, oil reached its one-month high on the market at $56.08 a barrel.

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Recently, a US Government report about shale oil output has counteracted the price hike from the Syric strike. Supposedly May will see the largest monthly production increase in about two years, with 5.19 barrels of day being pushed to market. While this will help lower the price of oil (with more supply comes lower prices), there is still a threat on the horizon that could rain on summer road trips. Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, the organization that controls oil in the Middle East and in other countries, has been cutting back on crude production along with Russia. Gas from the US will help to offset the cut in production, but if the cuts last for a long time it might not be enough. As the year progresses, we will all have to keep our eyes on the globe and prepare for fluctuations.

News Sources: CNBC, Market Watch, and Street Insider