By Labor Day Weekend Oil Prices Could Jump More Than 10 Percent

By Labor Day Weekend Oil Prices Could Jump More Than 10 Percent

"While the full impact of Hurricane Harvey on gulf coast refineries is still unknown, the outages that have already occurred, will prompt gas price increases of approximately 15-25 cents for many states east of the MS", said Martha Mitchell Meade, Manager Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Gas prices shot up across the United States as Hurricane Harvey reached Texas, with the current national average gas price reaching $2.37, four cents more expensive than last week and one of the largest one-week gas price surges seen this summer. Natural gas saw a dramatic increase in price in 2005 and 2008, he said.

With the refining industry heavily concentrated in the Houston area, about a quarter of the Gulf Coast's oil refining capacity has been taken offline, according to the Oil Price Information Service - and the overall damage to refineries from the hurricane and ongoing flooding remains uncertain. This compares with the national average that has increased 3.9 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.36/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

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As of Monday afternoon, prices in Texas had already risen about three cents from the week before - hardly a dramatic spike, though gas is usually headed the other way this time of year, Mac said. Read the full story and more in your Weekend edition of The Ennis News. Higher gasoline prices could run into seasonally lower demand as summer ends, undermining those higher refining margins, especially if Jones Act restrictions on shipping barrels between USA ports were waived temporarily to deal with the emergency (as happened after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012). South Carolina's average is $2.10.

And ironically, gas analysts say all the flooded Texas roadways will also help moderate the pain at the pump as demand will be decreased. Those refineries make up 12 percent of the nation's total capacity.

Among the reasons for Harvey's minimal effect on gas prices in the Pacific and Inland Northwest are the sources for fuel sold at Washington and Idaho pumps. That's up five cents from Tuesday and up 10 cents from the August 21 statewide average of $2.18. "The impact could linger for several weeks or longer". "This summer, eclipse travel injected an extra burst of demand for Idaho fuel that has carried over into Labor Day weekend". A year ago, the cost of gasoline was about $2.17 a gallon here.

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