Civil war in Libya does not affect US gas prices

Gas pump

Unrest in Libya is said to be causing gas prices to rise, but Libya doesn't affect gas prices in the U.S. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Gas prices have begun to climb as a result of unrest in the Middle East, and recent hikes in price began as Libya was plunged into a civil war.Libya is a major petroleum exporter, but not to the United States, which imports very little oil from Libya.

Libya did not cause rise in U.S. oil and gas prices

Petroleum is a very sensitive commodity. Everyone needs it, and potential disruptions of supply can have consequences like the price of gasoline shooting through the roof. During the past few weeks, Libya has been plunged into a brutal civil war. Libya is a major petroleum exporting state, and as a result the price of crude oil is fluctuating wildly and the price of gas has been rising due to concerns about world supply. However, industry insiders insist that domestic oil and gas supply in the U.S. are in good shape, according to USA Today. Most of the rise in prices in the U.S. has to do with market speculators and the fact that gas prices always start rising before the summer months. Wall Street, Moammar Gadhafi, is driving up gas prices.

Libya not a big provider to U.S.

Libya is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and exports a lot of crude oil. However, the United States does not receive much from Libya. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a division of the Department of Energy, the United States imported 22 million barrels of crude oil from Libya in 2009, 283 million barrels of crude from Nigeria, 347 million barrels from Venezuela and the 357 million barrels from Saudi Arabia. The claims that unrest in Libya could have a tangible effect on the oil supply in the United States, and therefore gas prices, are inaccurate.

Saudi Arabia the real danger

One country that really could put a dent in American crude oil imports is Saudi Arabia. Currently, pro-democracy protests are beginning to take place in Saudi Arabia, according to CNN, and there have already been crackdowns by the Saudi government. Demonstrations or protests by members of the public were outlawed once they began occurring in other countries. If Saudi Arabia were to be paralyzed by widespread revolt, gas prices would skyrocket in the U.S. However, most experts on the region are convinced a revolt similar to the ones in Egypt, Tunisia or Libya isn’t likely to happen in Saudi Arabia.


USA Today


U.S. Energy Information Association Statistics on oil imports


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