Gas price sign shows pricing at an arm and a legWith fuel prices in a temporarily lofty spot thanks to the holidays, it's hard to think of the price of a gallon of gas as a bargain, but according to the former president of Shell Oil, that's exactly what it is compared to what we'll see just one short year from now. While speaking with Platt's Energy Week Television, John Hofmeister said that he fully expects gas prices to be above $5.00 per gallon by the end of 2012. That stance puts Hofmeister firmly in the worst-case scenario club, though other analysts are barely any jollier in their predictions.

Tom Kloza, who serves as the chief oil analyst with Oil Price Information Service, believes that Hofmeister's predictions will come true, just not in the time-frame that the former Shell head honcho has predicted. Instead, Kloza says that he expects $5.00/gallon fuel to show up within the next decade. If so, we can probably expect to see a repeat of the financial shock that occurred when fuel prices shot up in mid-2008. The predictions are enough to make us a little queasy, so you have to really feel for our friends in Blighty – the UK recently saw gas prices spike to $7.30 a gallon. What will their prices be in 2012?

[Source: CNN Money | Image: Kari_Marie via cc 2.0]