The price of oil eased to below $101 a barrel Thursday after jumping higher on unrest in Egypt and signs of rising demand in the U.S. -- and that could have a big impact on Tri-State gas prices in the next few days.
As of Thursday evening, gas prices in the Tri-State range from about $3.25 to $3.43.
To get the latest Tri-State gas price information, and a breakdown on what each station is charging, click here : http://bit.ly/aU5hpb
Two events have propelled the price of oil higher in the past days: unrest in Egypt and a big drop in U.S. oil supplies.
Traders were worried that political upheaval in Egypt could slow the flow of oil from the Middle East to world markets.
Egypt is not an oil producer but its control of one of the world's busiest shipping lanes gives it a crucial role in maintaining global energy supplies. The Middle East accounts for about a quarter of the world's crude oil output, or 23 million barrels per day. About 2 million barrels of that, or 2.2 percent of world demand, are transported daily through the Suez Canal, which links the Mediterranean with the Red Sea.
Much of that oil is headed to Europe, but a supply drop anywhere in the world leads to higher prices everywhere.
Experts said the ouster of Morsi reduced the risk of prolonged protests that would further destabilize Egypt. "That said, it is still too early to sound the all-clear," said a report from analysts at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.
"Morsi's followers from the influential Muslim Brotherhood are hardly likely to take the overthrow of their president lying down," the analysts said in a note to clients. "The supply risks are thus likely to lend continued support to oil prices, even though the important transport route through the Suez Canal has not been in any sort of danger so far."
In the U.S., the Energy Department reported Wednesday that crude supplies fell by 10.3 million barrels from the previous week, more than three times the drop that analysts had expected.
The drop was likely the result of reduced supplies from Canada because of a temporary pipeline shutdown, as well as increased demand from a BP refinery that restarted in Indiana.
Gasoline supplies fell as well, while analysts expected an increase. The drop in oil and gas supplies could be an indication that U.S. demand is rising.