Gas prices hit $2.49 in Wichita

Tammy Harvey
August 31, 2017

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.

Gas Buddy senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan said prices in North Carolina have hiked six cents from $2.19 to $2.25 for unleaded fuel between when Harvey hit and on Tuesday. "This is a market at work".

McTeague says now officials are a long way of from knowing the long-lasting and permanent effects of Hurricane Harvey. "There are some refineries in that Gulf Coast region that supply all the way up to the Midwest".

The storm has knocked out "over 25 percent of the nation's [refinery] capacity".

Burd agrees. It's hard to say how long higher prices could be in effect because of the extent of the devastation, he said.

But he also warned Americans to be careful to place the blame on oil companies.

"This is the third most-conducive year on record since 1950 for hurricanes", McTeague said.

He continued, "As gas prices go up refineries around the globe are seeing incentives to send gas to the United States".

Gas Prices Skyrocket in North Texas After Harvey
Gas Prices Skyrocket in North Texas After Harvey

"Gas prices will go up".

DeHaan said the fact that global reserves are en route underscores the "severity of the situation". "This morning, the average price in the state is $2.24, so we're talking about about a five to six cent increase", DeHaan said.

Before Harvey struck last weekend, Airlines for America, a trade group representing USA airlines, was predicting Labor Day holiday travel would increase by as much as 5 percent over past year, to 16.1 million flyers between Wednesday, Aug. 30 and Tuesday, Sept. 5. That's considerably lower than the national average of $2.40. Gas is $2.49 a gallon at the Quick Fuel near Iron Street and 12th Avenue.

"We are pennies from that", she added. If the refineries take more than a few days to come back online, motorists in the Carolinas and other regions across the country could see increases at the gas pumps.

And ironically, gas analysts say all the flooded Texas roadways will also help moderate the pain at the pump as demand will be decreased.

"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".

Gas prices increases are not expected to be as severe as they could be or as they were after hurricane Katrina when prices increased 80 cents per gallon.


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