Crude awakening at gas pumps

Increasing tensions in Libya have helped send oil above the $100-a-barrel mark today, a foreboding benchmark that could mean much higher prices at the gas pump, officials say.

Analysts estimate that production in the oil-rich nation has been cut by about 1 million barrels per day so far, more than half the country’s daily output.

The unrest has caused prices at the pump to jump four cents overnight to $3.23 per gallon of unleaded regular across the nation.

In Delaware, motorists are forking over $3.17 for a gallon of unleaded regular, up seven cents in the last week.

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And local officials say get ready for more pain at the pump.

“If crude prices were to stay around $100 per barrel, we could expect to see the price for a gallon of unleaded regular rise to about $3.40 in the not too distant future,” said Jim Lardear, Director of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

President Barack Obama reacted to the situation Thursday. He says he’s confident markets will be able to ride out the situation in Libya and the price of oil will stabilize.

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