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Tanker attack in Middle East hikes oil prices

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PROVIDENCE R.I. (WPRI) — As smoke billowed from two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, oil prices surged about 4%.

AAA’s Diana Imondi said they are monitoring the situation to keep tabs on what it could mean for gas prices in the United States.

“That’s a very critical area,” Imondi said. “About 30% of seaborne crude oil has to pass through that straight.”

An oil tanker is on fire in the sea of Oman, Thursday, June 13, 2019. Two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz were reportedly attacked on Thursday, an assault that left one ablaze and adrift as sailors were evacuated from both vessels and the U.S. Navy rushed to assist amid heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran. (AP Photo/ISNA)

She said consumers don’t need to rush to fill their tanks just yet.

“We would have to see a significant, consistent increase in crude oil prices for that to really impact us and our pricing at the pump,” she explained. “If we do see an increase at the pump, we won’t see those numbers for about two weeks.”

Despite this, Imondi said gas prices have been on the decline recently.

“Just yesterday, we were at a five month low for oil pricing,” she said.

In Rhode Island and Massachusetts, the average cost for a gallon of gas is $2.76.

Imondi recommends searching for the cheapest prices by shopping around and looking at phone apps like GasBuddy.

“You can save a lot at the pump just by checking local prices,” she said.

Last year at this time, gas was almost $3 per gallon.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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