Harvey drives up gas prices

Harvey drives up gas prices

The national average was $2.36 per gallon for regular gas on Monday, according to AAA's gas report, and Kansas City, Kansas was trending higher, increasing about 29 cents a gallon from last week. If Texas refineries are down for an extended period of time, the national average could climb above $2.50 a gallon, the highest price since August 28, 2015.

"According to the Oil Price Information Service, we are looking at a 5-15 cent jump in gas prices", she said.

With supplies under pressure, the national average is already up almost 8 cents a gallon over the past week, according to GasBuddy's live ticking average.

Patrick DeHaan, an analyst for GasBuddy, predicts that USA gasoline prices will top out around $2.50 or $2.55 a gallon, an increase of up to 20 cents since Harvey hit, with bigger spikes closer to the Gulf. Prices are likely to rise even more in the Gulf Coast.

Demand typically drops after Labor Day and prices will drop in the Midwest as more expensive summer-blend gasoline is phased out.

While the main concern of the nation is certainly with those in the path of Hurricane Harvey - which struck southeast Texas and Houston over the weekend - the giant storm is also impacting the economy right here at home.

Mike Thornbrugh, a spokesperson for QuikTrip also stressed that drivers should not panic and said there is not a supply issue of gasoline at this time.

The eventual impact to gas prices is likely to be limited by the US shale oil boom. "Two-thirds of product from the Gulf Coast is exported to the East Coast".

Nearly 2 million barrels of refining capacity was taken off line because storm shakes Texas with unprecedented flooding and rain. Eight refineries in Texas were in the process of controlled shutdowns.

More than 1,600 USA flights had been cancelled by afternoon, a lot of them at the Houston airports, according to tracking service FlightAware.

Port closures in the region continue to spread as well, limiting the ability of refineries that remain open to access crude oil shipments.

"As the week progresses and we get a better look at how refineries were impacted by the storm that should really tell the tale of what to expect down the road", he said.



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