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Pump prices on the rise due to Hurricane Harvey

31 August 2017, 01:43 | Gordon Grant

Hurricane Harvey to Have Impact on Gas Prices Nationwide AP Charlie Riedel by Warner Todd Huston29 Aug 20170 29 Aug 2017 29 Aug 2017

Hurricane Harvey to Have Impact on Gas Prices Nationwide			AP  Charlie Riedel		by Warner Todd Huston29 Aug 20170		29 Aug 2017		29 Aug 2017

As Hurricane Harvey impacts oil production on the Texas Gulf Coast and many Kansas prepare to hit the roads for the traditionally busy Labor Day travel weekend, motorists are feeling the pain when filling up their gas tanks.

Retail gas prices climbed, too, up 2 cents a gallon on Wednesday and 7 cents in the past week, to a national average price of $2.42 per gallon, according to Gasbuddy. Natural gas saw a dramatic increase in price in 2005 and 2008, he said.

One of the results of the shale-derived boom in USA oil and gas production, coupled with a broad leveling-off in domestic energy consumption, is the country's re-emergence as a source of energy exports. Gas prices are expected to rise between 10 to 20 cents per gallon around the country, GasBuddy.com's Patrick DeHaan told USA Today.

According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on August 27 in Modesto have ranged widely over the last five years: $2.51/gallon in 2016, $3.01 in 2015, $3.74 in 2014, $3.62 in 2013 and $4.07/gallon in 2012. Prices are likely to rise even more in the Gulf Coast.

That's bad news for consumers not just in the USA, but in Canada as well with a three-cent-a-litre increase forecast for much of the country. Instead, gas prices in markets stretching from Europe to Asia should rise to compete for LNG cargoes as the USA goes offline, increasing the spread just as we are seeing today with crude oil benchmarks.

The high mid-90s output percentage for refineries at this time of year is normal because "demand from motorists peaks during the summer", DeHaan added.

The nation's least expensive markets are SC ($2.11), Alabama ($2.12), Arkansas ($2.12), MS ($2.12), Oklahoma ($2.13), Missouri ($2.14), Virginia ($2.15), Louisiana ($2.16), Tennessee ($2.16) and Texas ($2.17).

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

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If you own a vehicle in Montreal, you may be rather unhappy in the weeks to come, because gas prices have gone up and will probably continue to do so. Chicago-area prices are also set to jump because some Gulf Coast refiners send much of their gasoline to the Midwest.

"The busy summer driving season is wrapping up and right now gas prices in the Carolinas appear only slightly higher than they were last week", said Wright.

The result will be higher prices, but it should be just a one- or two-week problem, Joswick said. Gas is $2.49 a gallon at the Quick Fuel near Iron Street and 12th Avenue.

Along the Gulf Coast, 45% of USA oil refineries are located in Texas and Louisiana.

AAA Northeast said Monday its latest weekly survey found self-serve, regular selling for an average of $2.26 per gallon.

The good news is that prices tend to fall after Labor Day.

"We're anticipating 1 or 2 percent growth; that's what we've been seeing all year", he said.

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