COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) --Central ohio gas prices rose nine cents in the past week to $3.88 a gallon, according to  

The statewide average, from AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report, is $3.87 compared to $3.82 a week ago.  

The national average is $3.66 a gallon.

"The national average has stayed relatively flat for the last month, but that appears to be over, as the escalating situation in Iraq takes hold and drives crude oil and retail gasoline prices higher," said Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan.

DeHaan says that while the situation in Iraq is in its early stages, drivers should get ready for higher gasoline prices if the situation threatens Iraq's ability to export crude.

"While the U.S. only receives about 300,000 barrels of Iraqi crude per day, the concern is about the other 3 million or so barrels per day that Iraq pumps, which could be at risk of disruption. It's that perceived threat that may cause the national average this week to rise 3-6 cents per gallon", DeHaan said.

He says the timing of the situation in Iraq could wipe out chances for lower prices this summer, as outlined in earlier forecasts.