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Japan quake, tsunami push oil prices down

Crude-oil prices already on the decline from a high of $107 a barrel early last week have dipped to the $100 mark in the wake of the ongoing natural disasters in Japan. What impact this will all have on gas prices remains to be seen.

“Continued pain at the gas pump has motorists wondering what’s in store for the upcoming peak driving season and will continued gas price increases lead to a repeat of the summer of 2008 when gas prices reached an all-time high above $4.00 a gallon,” said Martha M. Meade, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “We continue to believe that gas prices will top out in the months ahead at $3.75 a gallon. However, the effects of continued international turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, and developments in earthquake ravaged Japan could further impact the upward climb of crude oil and gasoline prices in the week to come.”

The website is still forecasting a $117 a barrel price for crude oil in the coming year.

The average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded as of Monday evening is $3.56 nationally and $3.48 in Virginia. The Energy Information Administration is projecting the cost for a gallon of regular unleaded to hit $3.70 during the peak driving season from April through September.

Story by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at

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