Energy Expert Jeff Siegel: Gas Prices May Hit $8 in Next Few Years

Thursday, 19 Sep 2013 02:01 PM

By Dan Weil and Kathleen Walter

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Gasoline could rise another 20 to 50 cents a gallon this year and might reach $8 over the next few years, says Jeff Siegel, managing editor of Energy and Capital newsletter.

The average price at the pump for a gallon of regular gasoline was $3.51 Tuesday, which was down a nickel from a week ago, AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report says.

"We do have a wealth of domestic oil and gas now, but remember, oil is a global market, and the increase in demand in China and India and other parts of the world has an effect on what happens here," Siegel told Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview.

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"We're also exporting a lot more now, and we're going to send it where the price is right. So $8 a gallon is not out of the question at all."

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Siegel is bullish on crude oil too. The turmoil in Syria should help boost prices, he says. "We still don't know how this is going to work out," Siegel said.

"Although we seem to be at a place where we're discussing the international community taking control of the chemical weapons, over the past few weeks we've seen an increase in al-Qaida fighters coming into Syria."

That's a troubling sign, Siegel notes. "Essentially you're having more terrorist organizations moving into Syria, and that's only going to mean bad things for the oil infrastructure in that country."

If Iran gets more involved in Syria and more terrorists infiltrate, Brent crude prices could rise as high as $150 a barrel, Siegel says. Brent traded at $112.78 late Friday.

"If we don't see any of these big blow ups, if we don’t see other countries getting involved, I don't see much changing [for prices.]"

Egypt could blow up too, Siegel says. "The whole region is just waiting for something else to happen," he said. "Every time something even slightly goes wrong slightly over there, we see a small pop in oil prices. . . . I believe it's only a matter of time before something really flares up."

As for Russia, "sometimes we give [it] a little too much credit on how much power they actually have" in the energy market, Siegel said. He says the country has some problems on the oil and natural gas front.

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"Certainly, the bounty of oil and gas in this country is kind of putting the kibosh on increased imports from Russia," Siegel said. In addition, a lot of European countries are starting to turn to renewable energy sources. And some European countries are using more coal, he says.

"So Russia's not in this position where they can chest-pound as much as we think they can."

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