Hurricane Harvey has shut down completely or partially at least 14 oil refineries and gas prices could rise as much as 20 cents nationally and as much as 35 cents in parts of Texas and Louisiana, according to the Washington Post Wednesday.
Gas prices could increase from 5 to 25 cents per gallon or more overnight or in the next several days, according to Carolinas AAA. And this is not limited to affected states as oil and gas prices are expected to rise due to the shutdown of Texas' Gulf Coast.
AAA reports approximately one quarter of the oil refining capacity in the Gulf coast is offline.
This price rise has put the average cost of gasoline in Bulloch County at $2.28 per gallon, according to the Gasbuddy website.
Those increases are not due to a lack of supply in the region, however, as Idaho gets most its oil from Wyoming and is refined in Salt Lake City.More news: Kapil Sharma Keeps 'Baadshaho' Team Waiting, They Storm Out
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Mac, a guest on WNPV's Comment Please By Univest Monday afternoon, predicts an increase of ten cents a gallon at the pumps over the next month.
Less supply causes a higher demand, which is why gas prices are up.
The nationwide average right now, she said, is $2.40 per gallon. That would likely help to cap the national increase, which AAA expected could climb to $2.50, the first time since August 28, 2015 it would reach that price marker. The Texas Gulf Coast is home to about 30 refineries that account for almost 30% of USA capacity. And that means higher gas prices here in North Carolina. "The only lasting impact is if refineries are out for months".
As the remnants of Hurricane Harvey continue to linger over the gulf coast, the effects on the oil and gas industry are beginning to set in. "[Average] prices are now up to $2.40 a gallon and the increase could put us beyond the $2.42 mark, which is the highest we've already seen this year", she said. "This summer, eclipse travel injected an extra burst of demand for Idaho fuel that has carried over into Labor Day weekend". AAA expects Harvey's impact to drive gas prices to the highest they have been this year, which was $2.42 in March.
"We're anticipating 1 or 2 percent growth; that's what we've been seeing all year", he said. Prices peaked at $3.87 per gallon in 2013 and almost $4.00 in 2012.