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Drivers Unsure If Death Of Iranian Military Commander Soleimani Will Mean Higher Gas Prices

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Drivers in Los Angeles are unsure if a recent jump in oil prices hours after the death of Iranian Military Commander Qasem Soleimani will mean more pain at the pump.

"I think it might affect us a bit, not right away," said driver William Pereyra. "I don't put a whole lot into it just yet."

There is currently uncertainty about Iranian retaliation against the U.S. on the heels of Thursday night's drone strike that killed Soleimani.

The price of a barrel of oil jumped $2.70 hours after the deadly strike and one-quarter of California's oil supply comes from the Middle East.

"California gas prices are more likely to be affected by any sort of tensions in the Middle East than maybe prices in Texas or elsewhere because we are more reliant on that foreign oil," said Marie Montgomery with Auto Club of Southern California. "About 25 percent of our oil does come from foreign forces in the Middle East."

Consumers are still feeling the sting of paying $4 a gallon back in the fall. Prices have dropped a bit since then but drivers are hoping they don't see a repeat.

"I pay like $200 a week on gas alone," said driver Cedric Jones.

Currently, it's too early to tell if gas prices will be affected by the current tensions in the Middle East.

"If you see tensions escalate in next week, chances are good that we would see prices go up in next week," said Montgomery. "But if this is all that happens, just this one incident, we probably won't see that effect."

The actions in the Middle East have already resulted in a rise in oil tanker rates. There is concern that the tankers could be attacked and questioning whether the waterway that the tankers travel in should be closed.

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