Gas prices are steadily climbing

Gas prices have been on a consistant, upward tick for weeks.

If you thought gas prices were high now, a former executive has an ominous warning for you - just wait.

Gas prices are headed for the $5 mark later this year, potentially by the end of this summer, according to former Shell CEO John Hofmeister.

Hofmeister, who founded Citizens for Affordable Energy, is concerned that global demand for gas will rise and pressure the worldwide supply.

Higher prices - short of $5 but still more than you're paying now - may start to cause some pain well before the summer or even Spring Break.

The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in the United States has gone up 11 cents in just three weeks to $3.51. But in the D.C. metro area, that average goes up to about $3.77 per gallon.

For drivers like Joe Kitts, he's worried about not only himself, but others like his mother who are on fixed incomes.

"My mom stays at home, lives on a pension, and these kinds of prices make her not go out," Kitts said.

Much of the concern centers around what's going on around the world in areas where most of the world's oil reserves are.

"Instability in the Middle East - that always affects the price of oil and the price of gasoline," AAA spokesperson Jodi Woolard says.

As a result of that instability, oil refineries are cutting back on their supplies, which drive up gas prices nationwide.