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Spike in fuel prices could lead to an energy crisis this winter, expert warns

High oil prices break 7-year record
High oil prices break 7-year record 01:54

A perfect storm of high demand and low supply is sending fuel prices through the roof. Driving your car is costing a lot more — and heating your home this winter could, too. 

One cab driver said he's spending at least $300 extra a month, which forces him to shop around. 

"The difference is like 10 cents between the Amoco, the Mobil gas station and the Exxon," he said. 

The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gas this week is $3.27 — a seven-year high. According to GasBuddy, a price tracking service, the price of a gallon nationwide has gone up more than five cents in a week. 

Meanwhile, benchmark crude oil prices have risen above $80 a barrel for the first time since 2014. As a result, Chicago-area utilities are projecting that heating bills will be up to 50% higher this winter. The New York Department of Public Service warned residents last week that their home heating bills could jump 21% compared to last winter. 

"We are facing a looming energy crisis as we head into what could be a cold winter," said Helima Croft, managing director and global head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets. Croft said higher oil prices combined with an increased demand for oil and concerns about a colder winter in Europe and Asia are all contributing to the spike. 

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