Oil prices reach seven-year high impacting prices at the pump

October oil prices reached their highest point since 2014, as global demand recovers from the pandemic slowdown.

It's a sharp difference from 2020 headlines when oil closed in negative territory. Now, $80 a barrel may be just the beginning of a sharp rebound.

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Houston energy analyst Andy Lipow says plummeting oil demand during the pandemic forced a lot of oil production offline.

"Supplies are slow to return to a market that continues to recover from the pandemic," he says.

Now, as demand picks up for travel and industry, there are fewer sources to bring crude to market.

"There was simply no money to be made," says Lipow. "As demand has responded faster than bringing on new supply, we find ourselves in a situation where supplies are declining."

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For consumers, that means rising prices at the pump. The national average cost for a gallon of regular unleaded sits at $3.27. That's more than a dollar higher than it was a year ago.

In a state that helped drive the idea of energy independence in recent years, it is not as simple as reopening closed wells.

Despite some projections that this cycle could push oil toward $100 a barrel, producers may be reluctant to invest until they see those prices remaining sustainably high.

"It just seems like global markets are going to be tight, for a little while," says analyst James Bevan. "As far as a ton of people being out in the oil fields; drilling wells and fracking; a bunch of infrastructure being built on the energy side; that's going to be a whole lot tougher to make happen."