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How high will gas prices go? Energy expert weighs in

"Putin is trying to make sure that the voters and consumers in the Western nations feel the pain of supporting Ukraine," said energy expert Ed Hirs.

HOUSTON — As the Russian invasion of Ukraine rages on, consumers half a world away are feeling the strain at the pumps.  

On Tuesday, the United States hit a record national average of $4.17 for a gallon of regular gasoline. The average for Texas is considerably lower at $3.86 per gallon, according to AAA. Experts say consumers should be prepared to pay these prices and higher for months.

“The price skyrockets up and parachutes down,” explained energy expert Ed Hirs. “We can expect to see these prices in the $4 range continuing for the duration of the conflict.”

Hirs adds that if things remain as they are, Houstonians should see the prices top out around the $4.50 mark.

However, on Tuesday, another move was announced from The White House to punish Russia.

"Russian oil will no longer be acceptable at US ports,” said President Joe Biden, “and the American people will deal another powerful blow to Putin's war machine."

A senior Russian official threatened to cut off Europe’s natural gas supply on Monday in response to possible oil import bans. Hirs says that could drive the cost of a barrel of oil to $300.

“That would increase the price of gasoline in Houston to about $9 or $10 a gallon," Hirs explained. "This is a war game that’s being played by the Kremlin. Putin is trying to make sure that the voters and consumers in the Western nations feel the pain of supporting Ukraine.”

Mechanic Mike Beglin with Sal’s Auto Repair in Houston says there are ways for drivers to stretch a gallon.

“You want to check your fuel filters, your air filter, your tire pressures,” Beglin explained. Adding that driving slow and steady also conserves gasoline.

AAA adds to avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations because these actions greatly increase fuel consumption. AAA also recommends using cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed.

To find gas price averages in your area, click here.

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