The United States and Europe could have fuel shortages this summer that could be worse than the oil crisis in the 1970s, according to the head of the International Energy Agency. This is because the number of people travelling will go up during the summer.
Fatih Birol told Der Spiegel, “When the main holiday season starts in Europe and the US, fuel demand will go up.”
“Then we might run out of things like diesel, gasoline, or kerosene, especially in Europe,” he said.
Birol said that the current energy crisis could be worse than the shocks of the 1970s and last longer.
“It was all about oil back then,” he said. “Right now, there is a shortage of oil, gas, and electricity all at the same time.”
Because of the Yom Kippur War in 1973 and the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, oil prices went up very quickly.
This year, energy prices have gone up because Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has made it even harder to get the energy that is needed.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, gas prices across the country hit all-time highs.
AAA says that the average price per gallon for gas in the United States is $4.62.
The hardest hit were drivers in California, where some gas stations in parts of Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the Yosemite region charged more than $7.25 per gallon, which is more than the federal minimum wage.
AAA says that the average price of a gallon of gas in the Golden State is $6.15, which is more than any other state in the country. Prices are higher for people in California because taxes and surcharges are added to the cost of fuel.
Over Memorial Day weekend, gas prices in Los Angeles County, which has the most people in the country, hit a record high of $6.16 per gallon. This was almost $2 more than the previous holiday record, which was $4.29 in 2012.
The national average, on the other hand, has gone up by 40% since the beginning of the year. It is also much higher than the price of $3.04 per gallon from last year.
Analysts think that more states will pay more than $5 per gallon by the Fourth of July holiday because demand will be high and supply will be low.
The price of oil around the world also keeps going up. Brent crude, which is used as the international standard, went over $123 per barrel on Tuesday. This was the highest price in two months.
Monday, the US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, went over $118 a barrel.