Russia-Ukraine conflict could mean continued spike in North Texas gas prices

What happens between Russia and Ukraine could add to the price North Texans pay to gas up their car and heat their home.

The president already warned that was a possibility, even as gas prices continue to rise.

The recent uncertainty with Russia and Ukraine is the latest factor in the spike at the gas pump.

Energy experts said people shouldn’t hold their breath for low prices anytime soon. 

Last week, FOX4 did a story about how the already high gas prices were slowly ticking back up in recent weeks.

RELATED: Gas prices to stay high during short term, experts say

Gas pump

FILE - A view of a fuel pump at a petrol station shows gas prices over $4, in Arlington-Virginia, United States on Oct. 30, 2021.

Now, it seems like the price for a gallon of gas is increasing daily. 

The recent conflict between Russia and Ukraine has made matters worse. 

"The geopolitics of Russia and Ukraine, Russia is the number two producer of oil in the world. And so if there are sanctions that go along with keeping them from invading Ukraine, I mean, there's a whole lot of things going on right now. All translate to uncertainty, which drives up the price," explained Joshua Rhodes, energy expert at the University of Texas Austin.

Spiking gas prices were already a major part of the worst inflation in the U.S. in nearly 40 years.

This week, President Biden acknowledged that if Russia invades Ukraine, there will be sanctions and possibly other actions taken against Russia.

Rhodes is with the Energy Institute at the University of Texas. 

He said that because oil is a global market, uncertainty impacts everyone. 

"I think it's really going to depend on what happens in Europe right now. Does Russia invade? Do they not? That will have an impact on future uncertainty in oil," he said.

Here in the U.S., the national average for a regular gallon of gas is $3.51, according to AAA.

In Texas, it’s lower, at $3.20. 

But gas prices here in North Texas are higher than the state average. Dallas is sitting at $3.27 for a gallon.

Last week, it was 9 cents lower, and a month ago, it was nearly 30 cents lower a gallon.

"Number one is this global oil markets. But number two that people don't think about a whole lot, oil does not just mean gasoline," Ed Emmett, energy/transportation fellow with Rice University.

Emmett added that not only is there uncertainty, but demand for oil is high, and not just to fuel our cars.

"In a just typical supply demand equation, demand is going to be going up and supply hasn’t matched it," he said.

Both Emmett and Rhodes agree, things won’t go down for a while. 

"I kind of think these higher prices are here to stay, at least for a little while, looking at the global outlook for oil," Rhodes said.

"I think we're talking at least a year, and then the question becomes, will it ever go back to a norm?" Emmett added.

In November, the federal government said prices would drop in 2022. 

Rhodes said that was before increased demand and the latest situation overseas, adding that conflicts around the world can throw off a projection.