The former president of Shell Oil said he believes Americans could be paying $5 for a gallon a gas by 2012.
“I’m predicting actually the worst outcome over the next two years which takes us to 2012 with higher gasoline prices,” John Hofmeister said in a recent interview with Platts Energy Week television.
Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst with Oil Price Information Service, agreed that Americans would see $5 a gallon gas but told CNN that he did not believe it would happen in 2012. “That wolf is out there and it’s going to be at the door…I agree with him that we’ll see those numbers at some point this decade but not yet.”
“The demand is still sluggish enough in some of the mature economies,” he said.
Hofmeister also predicted that demand would outstrip supply before the end of the decade.
“When supplies run low and the demand is still high, many areas will start to run out, with gas stations having no supplies,” World News Insight observed. “Ultimately rationing could then come into force. We could be looking at a return to the 1970′s.”
Average gas prices rose higher than $3 last week for the first time since October 2008.
Consumers were paying 17 percent more than a year ago and seven percent more than just last month, according to AAA.
Hawaii has the highest average price in the nation at $3.636. California is next highest at $3.275.
For the first time since October 2008, the price of a barrel of crude closed above $90 Wednesday.