Will crisis in Egypt impact gas prices in the US?

10:25 PM, Aug 20, 2013   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: Violent clashes in Egypt

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- There has been chaos and bloodshed on the streets of Egypt.

The violence may be half a world away but there is a question of whether what's happening there will impact prices at the pump here.

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. 

Most of the people WUSA9 spoke to say it's the human toll that's truly concerning about this crisis in Egypt. 

One man who's friend is in Egypt right now said, "I am thinking more about his safety than the future and things like gas prices."

It's the personal connections, the loss of life that's taken centerstage, not the potential impact the chaos could have on their wallets

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