(NEW YORK) -- A former Shell executive is predicting that gas prices could reach the $5 mark by the late 2012, just as Americans are seeing a preview of rising prices throughout the nation.
John Hofmeister, the former president of Shell and now chief executive of a non-profit group called Citizens for Affordable Energy, said he expects the hike by November 2012 mostly because of higher demand for gasoline worldwide -- especially in Asia.
"There is more demand because the economy is recovering," he said. "There is much more demand in Asia because the economy is growing rapidly."
While demand is rising steadily, the world is struggling to increase production. Demand is approaching 90 million barrels per day, while only 85 million barrels are being produced.
Today, gas prices are averaging at $3.07 a gallon, while a year ago they were at $2.62 -- 45 cents cheaper. Drivers experienced the highest gas prices in October 2008, when many paid $4.11 for every gallon, according to AAA. While everyday commuters certainly will be suffering, it will be those who consistently travel across the country who will be paying the most at the pump. Americans drove 16 billion more miles this year than they did last year.
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