Gas price expert says $4.50 possible this summer

CREATED Jan. 4, 2012

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MILWAUKEE - An oil analyst says he wouldn't be surprised to see prices hit $4.50 a gallon this summer.  "I think it's not going to be a good year at all for gas prices," said GasBuddy.com Oil Analyst Patrick DeHaan.

DeHaan tells Newsradio 620 WTMJ a threat by Iran to close a major oil shipping channel has sent oil prices much higher to start the year.  As a result, gas prices are starting this year 20 to 25 cents high than the year before.

And over the past several years, prices have gone up by an average of 91 cents from the start of the year to the peak.

"I think that four dollar sign will be coming out sometime in April or May," DeHaan said.

The big variable to watch this year is Iran.  Half the world's oil supply ships through the port the Iranians are threatening to close.