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. In Minot the price of gasoline jumped at some locations, presumably on word that refinery operations on the Texas coast were effected by the storm.
Hurricane Harvey has shut down oil refineries in Texas, lowering the nation's refining capacity by around a sixth, CBS News reports.
"Over the next two weeks prices can rise as much as 20 to 35 cents a gallon", Mac said. The average Kansas per gallon price is $2.28 today, up five cents from Tuesday and up 10 cents from its August 21 statewide average of $2.18.
"Labor Day is the official end of the driving season, so demand will go down", Nelson said.
AAA notes that price increases do not now reflect a shortage of gasoline supplies in the Gulf Coast region, but rather distribution capability.
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High demand driven by a flood of a different kind in the Northwest - hundreds of thousands flowing into the region to view the August 21 eclipse along or near its line of totality - put pressure on prices through the middle of the month and into this week. That's 11 cents below the national average of $2.37.
"Historically, prices during this time are decreasing", she said. A check of Minot gasoline retailers at midday Tuesday found most pricing gasoline at $2.29 to $2.39 per gallon.
The ongoing disaster of Hurricane Harvey has, of course, led to shutdowns of refineries, oil and gas rigs and other elements of the concentrated, complex network of energy infrastructure that sprawls across the coast and waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The Motiva Enterprises plant in Port Arthur, Texas, run by a unit of the state-owned oil company of Saudi Arabia, was the latest domino to fall among Gulf Coast refineries.
Including the change in gas prices in IL during the past week, prices Monday were 0.9 of a cent lower than one year ago and more than 5 cents higher than a month ago.
"It's really going to depend on how long those refineries are down, but this is going to be a short-term impact, not a long-term". There, drivers will pay $2 a gallon at the Murphy USA on Eisenhower Road.