CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Americans are paying more at the pump in the last few weeks. Even within the last week, gas in Charlotte rose by almost 15 cents.
Viewers have a lot of questions about gasoline in recent days, as the impact of the Russia-Ukraine crisis has been on the mind of American consumers.
Is there a gas shortage in the United States right now?
No, there is not a gas shortage in the United States right now. The U.S. has plenty of oil in its reserves, 580 million barrels of crude oil to be exact.
"There's no shortage, there's not disruption, there's no shortage at all," De Haan said.
De Haan said viewers are likely wondering if the connection to high gas prices is related to when the Colonial Pipeline had production issues in 2021.
"Be rest assured, the refineries are operating, everything is fine," De Haan said. "It's just that the price of oil is jumping significantly because Russia is the second-largest global oil producer."
Galimberti agreed, saying because the oil industry is globally intertwined, whatever happens in another oil-producing country, such as Russia, can potentially disrupt the entire chain.
"So if the oil price is high, it is high for pretty much everybody and pretty much everywhere," Galimberti said.
Both De Haan and Galimberti said the reason for the currently-high prices in the U.S. still has to do with pandemic-related issues, such as high consumer demand.
As to when, if at all, the U.S. will cut into its oil reserves in the future to help with supply, De Haan and Galimberti said it's possible.
"So even if Russia did cut crude oil exports, we still have a sizable offset in the nation's strategic reserve," De Haan said. "It's 585 million barrels of crude oil that are being held in Louisiana in case the nation needs to draw on that. But for now, no, there's absolutely no availability issues."