Gas Prices in the United States
Gas Prices in the United States are currently hovering around $4 per gallon. This is very high historically, but low globally. Americans have the highest fuel consumption in the world, using 20 million barrels of oil a day, half of that in the form of refined gasoline. Last year, Americans drove a combined three trillion miles, enough to go to Pluto and back 820 times. Representing such a huge market also means that the U.S. has power to purchase oil in much greater quantities than other countries.
European Gas Prices
By comparison, most U.S. European allies pay significantly more at the pump than Americans. In Germany, the average gas price per gallon is $5.57. In France, the rate is $5.54. The United Kingdom is even worse with consumers paying on average $5.79 at the pump. The city of Brussels in Belgium has the record for highest gas prices in Europe. In Brussels, today, don't expect to fill up for less than $10.11 per gallon. No wonder bike riding is so popular there.
Gas Prices in the Middle East
Israel is about the only country in the Middle East with no oil reserves. To make matters worse, the countries that make up OPEC refuse to sell directly to Israel. So Israelis have been used to paying around $8 per gallon for many years now. Israelis respond by not only taking government subsidized buses between cities and towns, but hitchhiking is also very popular there.
Saudi Arabia and Kuwait
The rest of the Middle East pay very little for gas. Not only do most Middle Eastern countries have vast reserves of oil, but most of them subsidize gas purchases for their citizens. In Saudi Arabia, the people making the most money off selling oil to the world pay on average just $0.45 for each gallon. Kuwaitis, whose oil fields were saved from Iraq by an international coalition in the nineties, pay just $0.79 for every gallon.
The Cheapest Gas on Earth
If you want to find the cheapest gas prices in the world, rent a car in Caracas, Venezuela. You can fill up a standard ten gallon tank of gas for about one dollar. That's right, government subsidies by this oil producing nation make gas just $0.11 cents per gallon, a world record. If only we could drive down there fill up and come back.
Best of the Rest
The rest of the world pays different amounts, but outside of the oil producing countries of the Middle East and Venezuela, most people pay between $6 and $8 per gallon. Americans may think that they are now paying a lot, but compared to the rest of the world, the gas price is actually low. Put another way, the vast majority of people in the world are paying more at the pump than people in the United States. Now if the current trend continues, that may change. But don't expect gas prices to get much cheaper.