The following is from the Oct. 17, 2007, edition of The Chicago Tribune. Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute at SMU, provided expert commentary for this story.

Pump prices steady, for now

By Robert Manor
Tribune staff reporter

While the relentlessly rising price of crude oil passed $88 a barrel for a time Tuesday and closed at yet another record, gasoline prices around the country have remained stable, an unusual phenomenon and not one likely to last.

Increasing tension between Turkey, important because of the petroleum pipelines that cross the country, and the Kurds of Iraq is one major factor contributing to the rise in the price of oil, analysts say.

The benchmark price of crude rose $1.48 to settle at $87.61 a barrel, after intraday trading briefly passed $88.

"Clearly the market is reacting to the situation with the Kurds and Turks," said Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University. "Unless crude prices go back down, we could see gasoline prices going back up."

Industry observers have been struck by the relative calm in gasoline prices while oil, which accounts for about two-thirds of the cost of gas, has risen sharply.

Read the full story.

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