Gas Prices Around the Globe: Who Feels the Most -- and Least -- Pain at the Pump

Gas Prices Around the Globe With average U.S. gas prices hovering at historic highs, plenty of Americans are anxious about the cost of filling up. Analysts blame the recent steady rise in oil prices on unease about the Middle East and anticipation of increased global demand as the world economy continues to recover from the recession.

According to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report on Tuesday, the nationwide average for self-serve unleaded regular gasoline was $3.59 a gallon. That's about 80 cents a gallon more than a year ago and 30 cents a gallon higher than on the same day in 2008, when gasoline prices were rising toward their all-time record high of $4.11 a gallon, which they hit four months later.

Despite the pain Americans are feeling at the pump, we still pay much less than the drivers in many other developed nations in the world. Canadians, for example, pay about a third more than U.S. consumers, even though Canada is the biggest foreign supplier of oil to the U.S.

According to a survey this month of worldwide gasoline prices by AIRINC, a Cambridge, Mass.-based consulting firm, the price per gallon in Toronto averaged $4.96 for regular grade fuel, while in New York City, prices at the pump averaged $3.82.

Even Canadian prices are bargains compared to those in several European nations, as well as some in Africa and Asia. Among the nations with the highest gas prices: Turkey, Eritrea and Norway. Residents of Istanbul pay the equivalent of $9.63 a gallon, according to AIRINC's survey, while those in Eritrea's capital, Asmara, and Oslo aren't far behind with per-gallon prices of $9.59 and $9.27, respectively.

Greece, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands are also among countries with some of the world's highest gasoline prices, with drivers paying at least $8 a gallon.

In Libya, Low Prices (But High Risk) at the Pump

Still, it isn't likely that many U.S. consumers will take much solace in knowing that they spend far less on gasoline than their counterparts elsewhere.

"I doubt many Americans are concerned about what others are paying overseas or outside of the United States," says AAA spokesman Troy Green. That's especially true for those living paycheck to paycheck, or on fixed incomes, or who have been unemployed long term, he says. "When you look at those three groups, it's really tough on them right now."

Despite ample supplies of crude oil, prices have risen steadily since last summer. Civil unrest in the Middle East is one reason some traders have been bidding up the price of oil. On Tuesday, crude prices remained above $104 a barrel in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Yet while gas prices in the U.S. and many other countries continue to rise, prices in Libya, which has been the scene of some of the region's bloodiest chaos recently, have remained relatively stable at around 54 cents a gallon, according to AIRINC spokesman Scott Sutton. Libya, like many of its fellow OPEC nations, has among of the lowest gas prices in the world, thanks to government subsidies.

Sutton noted, however, that amid the current upheaval in their country, many Libyans are too fearful to fill up for fear of being shot. Other countries where gas prices remain at bargain-basement levels include Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar. In cities in each of those countries, pump prices were well below $1 a gallon, according to AIRINC's survey. In the Venezuela capital of Caracas, heavily subsidized gasoline was selling for a mere 6 cents a gallon.

Whether gas prices in the U.S. will head lower or creep even higher in coming weeks in advance of the summer driving season remains unknown. After prices hit record highs in the summer of 2008, few analysts predicted that they would rapidly plummet to their lowest levels in years -- but they fell to a national average of $1.62 a gallon on Dec. 30, 2008, according to AAA.

"It's a foolhardy practice to try to predict long term what gasoline prices are going to be with a measure of accuracy," says the AAA's Green. "You just don't know."

Cities Worldwide with the Highest and Lowest Prices for Gasoline (March 2011)

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sourdough12345

No mystery here. The united states bullies other countries and takes their resources including oil. Many of these weaker countries listed in the chart above can't or won't do this, that is why their gasoline prices are so high. Not all of it is taxes like the government says. The U.S. keeps gas prices low to sell large gas guzzlers, to heck with the environment ... money is more important to americans. If you are able, watch "Gashole" on LINK TV, this story expains everything. NO NEWTS!!!

December 19 2011 at 2:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lghtning50

well I see oil is rising again, just 1 day after it fell, and after bp posted a 5bill profit for the 1st quarter, and still the obumble has done nothing

April 20 2011 at 4:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
barryalmo2

From 9 cents up to $9.64 per Gallon ???
Totally BIZARRE !!!

April 18 2011 at 7:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cindy

What we need to do is rein in these commodity "traitors" who take advantage of every little "crisis" to line their pockets with money from poor and middle class citizens all over the world who have to drive to work and depend on gasoline and diesel fuel to live productive lives. These people don't have to worry about fuel prices because they walk to work from penthouse apartments and have everything delivered to them from businesses that are barely hanging on because of the inflated prices that they cause! It's a dadgum shame.

April 09 2011 at 2:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
fpfp040408

Breaking news from Nightly Business Report: ADP (payroll processing) just announced 201,000 jobs added to the private sector. That makes an average of 211,000 jobs per month for the last four months. LLC reports, “It’s pretty clear employment has in fact accelerated.” And tarp loans are in the black with $6 billion profit; 99% of loans paid back. Manufacturing and exports up for 19 months and unemployment declining. Thank you President Obama! Policies, legislation, and trade agreements are working. **************** GOD BLESS PRESIDENT OBAMA ********* OBAMA 2012 ********* A SURE THING !!

April 01 2011 at 10:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to fpfp040408's comment
TheBearAk

Are you kidding? Jobs ALWAYS go up in the spring/summer. Compare unemployment rates from this year to last year to really get an idea.

There is a huge percentage of jobs that are seasonal. Just before Christmas there is a hiring frenzy, followed by mass layoffs in January and February. Then the hiring starts again for industries like construction, fishing, tourism, etc, in April and May for the summer season. I suppose all the jobs that the natural disasters created are Obama's credit too?

May 24 2011 at 5:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
fpfp040408

Breaking news from Nightly Business Report: ADP (payroll processing) just announced 201,000 jobs added to the private sector. That makes an average of 211,000 jobs per month for the last four months. LLC reports, “It’s pretty clear employment has in fact accelerated.” And tarp loans are in the black with $6 billion profit; 99% of loans paid back. Manufacturing and exports up for 19 months and unemployment declining. Thank you President Obama! Policies, legislation, and trade agreements are working.

See full article from DailyFinance: http://srph.it/hggM9J

March 31 2011 at 6:26 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
fpfp040408

lghtning50 - I wish you good luck in Mexico working for GM . we need cheap cars here in the USA. I need to buy 2 for my kids.

March 31 2011 at 6:09 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to fpfp040408's comment
fpfp040408

POLL not pole - please google the words , do some basic research

March 31 2011 at 6:05 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to fpfp040408's comment
fpfp040408

lghtning50 - all I hear is your crying and whining and lying ! If you are so unhappy here in America , then leave ! The USA is the greatest nation in the world. There are plenty of countries where your commie, socialistic beliefs will be welcome ! LEAVE

March 31 2011 at 6:02 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to fpfp040408's comment
lghtning50

whinning and crying and lying? geeez you don't even know the meaning of the words, and I am doing something about this once great nation, I am voting on getting people out of office whose only thoughts and concerns are to ruin and destroy this nation. People like the obumble, biden, reid, pelosi, boxer, jackson, shummer franks and other ilk, you know, people that you adore and love

March 31 2011 at 6:05 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
fpfp040408

you are one of those malcontents , stirring up trouble, again leave - go to another country - go to mexic0 and work for GM

March 31 2011 at 6:07 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
fpfp040408

lghtning50 = again please note the word is POLL - not pole. plus as I can see how brilliant you are , where did you get your college degree from ?

PS / not a spell check issue , a basic education or lack thereof issue .

March 31 2011 at 5:58 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to fpfp040408's comment
lghtning50

you are going to run 1 word into the ground, you are really desperate and it shows you have the attention span of a puppy, now go chase your tail

March 31 2011 at 6:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply