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According to energy experts, the price of gas at the pump is primed for steady increases as the world economic recovery progresses, energy demand increases and production declines.
With some energy aficionados estimating the price of crude oil once again approaching or exceeding $100 a barrel in 2011, route vehicles could cost as much as $4 a gallon in some parts of the country to fill up.
These predictions should come as no surprise to operators who have seen prices steadily increase over the past few weeks. In some areas, the price of gas has topped $3 for the first time since October 2008.
How far and fast gas prices will eventually climb is anyone's guess. While America remains the world's largest energy consumer, developing countries like China have placed increased pressure on prices as their demand grows.
In a recent, well-publicized CNN interview, former Shell Oil president John Hofmeister predicted gasoline could reach as high as $5 a gallon by 2012. While Hofmeister's predictions have been widely criticized, even more conservative pundits see significant increases in the future.