Mideast turmoil turns to LI pain - Metro US

Mideast turmoil turns to LI pain

Millions of Long Islanders are feeling major pain at the pump as gas prices skyrocketed across the region yesterday, thanks to turmoil in Libya and throughout the Middle East.

The average price of a regular gallon of gas in Long Island soared to $3.43 a gallon this week. That’s fifty cents higher than a year ago and higher than the national average of $3.17 per gallon.

As political unrest in Libya spread, the price of oil jumped to $94.21 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange yesterday — the highest price in over two years.

“The gas prices in Long Island are too damn high,” fumed Mastic Beach resident Billy Ellis. “On the average we are paying about 52 cents more a gallon than we were at this time last year. Everybody is speculating about oil in the market so prices are soaring at the gas pump. It’s the drivers who get the shaft.”

As violence in Libya escalates, two oil companies temporarily suspended production in the country and BP has started evacuating workers. Libya has the most oil reserves in Africa and is responsible for 2 percent of the world’s output.

“Our prices went up four cents a gallon since yesterday,” said Garden City Mobil cashier Uggal Devdda. “I don’t know if it has anything to do with Libya but prices do seem to be rising.”

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