In something of a counter intuitive move, it appears as though recent developments in Egypt are unlikely to directly impact prices at the pump in the United States. According to CBS News’ Washington affiliate:
Jeff Colgan is an assistant professor at the School of International Service at American University. He watches the oil markets globally and that means keeping close tabs on the Middle East since so much oil is either produced or flows through that region. He says Egypt does not produce much oil so the turmoil there will likely have little impact on gas prices.
Colgan tells us, “What’s happening in Egypt is bad for a lot of reasons but the price of gas is probably not going to be one of them.”
But there is the Suez Canal which is a vital and heavily used passageway to transport oil and other goods around the world.
If something forced the closure or delayed ships traveling the canal – it raises the possibility of gas prices increasing. Still, Colgan says the canal is too important to the economy of Egypt and beyond to let anything that drastic happen.
“Typically the government wants to keep the canal open but one could imagine rebels who are trying to force the hands of the government could try but that is one scenario but militarily not likely,” he said.
Meanwhile, oil prices have slumped along with the market as a whole over the course of the last week. It remains to be seen whether the Suez Canal comes into play as the conflict between the Egyptian military and the Muslim Brotherhood intensifies.