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Gas prices on the rise in Alabama as result of Hurricane Harvey
March 21 2018, 10:21 | Clarence Walton
Harvey Why Oil Prices Are Falling Not Spiking
So say travel experts at the American Automobile Association in Chicago, who say the now-downgraded Hurricane Harvey is to blame for a spike in prices at the pump.
Patrick DeHaan, an analyst with fuel tracking site GasBuddy.com, told AL.com that the prices are at the highest level in two years and could go even higher in some parts of the country. "This is a market at work". According to GasBuddy.com the closed refineries account for roughly 25 percent of USA refining capacity.
The storm has knocked out "over 25 percent of the nation's [refinery] capacity. Prices are rising overnight and now is the time so fill up now and get the best deals", Carter said.
Investors were beginning to turn their attention to the weekly oil inventory report from the us government, with analysts expecting to see another decline in stockpiles. But global oil prices have continued to fall.
He continued, "As gas prices go up refineries around the globe are seeing incentives to send gas to the United States". The SPR, established in the 1970s, now contains 679 million barrels of oil.
DeHaan said the fact that worldwide reserves are en route underscores the "severity of the situation".
Gas prices across the US have risen about 17 cents a gallon this week and Hurricane Harvey is to blame. Jacksonville has the least expensive gas in Florida at $2.36 per gallon followed by Tampa and Daytona Beach where gas averaged $2.38 per gallon on Thursday. In Jacksonville, the average price of a gallon of gas rose 8 cents - from $2.29 on Wednesday to $2.37 on Thursday.
"We are pennies from that", she added.
Hurricane Harvey forced operators to close or reduce production at refineries and pipelines in and around Texas.
That jump comes just ahead of the Labor Day holiday weekend, which typically sees heavy driving. But what if there is a worst case scenario with refineries being down for months?
The national average reached $2.37 on Monday - one of the largest one-week national gas prices surge seen this summer, according to a news release from AAA. A gallon of gas at one Valero, Texas station in the Travis Heights neighborhood cost $2.39 a gallon.