Posts Tagged ‘gasoline prices’

Gas Pump Fill-upDrivers are being hit with the biggest one-day jump in gasoline prices in 18 months just as the last heavy driving weekend of the summer approaches,The Associated Press reported.

As Hurricane Isaac swamps the nation’s oil and gas production along the Gulf Coast, it’ is causing higher pump prices to storm-battered residents of Louisiana and Mississippi — and also to unsuspecting drivers up north in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

The national average price of a gallon of gas jumped almost five cents Wednesday (Aug. 29) to $3.80, the highest ever for this date. Prices are expected to continue to climb through Labor Day weekend, the end of the summer driving season.

“The national average will keep ticking higher, and it’s going to be noticeable,” says Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at Gasbuddy.com.

Isaac shut down several refineries along the Gulf Coast while others are operating at reduced rates. About 1.3 million barrels per day of refining capacity is affected. So, it’s no surprise that drivers in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida saw gas prices rise by 10¢ or more in the past week.

 

Gas Pump Fill-upRVers planning to travel the West Coast  in the next few weeks may want to adjust their fuel budgets up. Gasoline prices, now averaging $3.88 a gallon in California, $3.72 in Washington and $3.69 in Oregon, could surge to $4.15 to $4.25 a gallon over the next week to 10 days following Monday’s partial shutdown of a Chevron refinery in Richmond, Calif.

Nationally, gasoline prices have climbed 27 cents a gallon in the past month. While the refinery fire will drive prices along the West Coast, it will also lift the national average — now $3.65 a gallon — above year-ago levels.

“August looks like a very touch-and-go month for the entire country,” says Oil Price Information Service energy analyst Tom Kloza, who expects price relief after Labor Day. For the year to date, gasoline has averaged $3.61 a gallon — 10 cents more than 2011’s full year average, the most expensive year ever, he says.

Patrick DeHaan, senior oil analyst for gasbuddy.com, expects California, Oregon and western Washington state to experience price spikes like the ones that hit major parts of the Midwest in June, when an Illinois refinery shut down and three others in the state cut production.

“The West Coast is on the launch pad waiting for takeoff,” DeHaan says. “We’re talking over $4 a gallon, easily. It’s not going to be good for motorists.”

Monday’s refinery fire caused billowing smoke for miles, prompting hundreds of nearby residents to seek medical care for eye irritation and breathing issues.

The blaze in the refinery’s No. 4 Crude Unit was contained in about five hours, Chevron said, although there was a minor flareup Wednesday. Three employees suffered minor injuries.

Source USAToday

More Americans will take to the roads over the Memorial Day weekend this year as they benefit from a recent drop in pump prices, travel group AAA forecast, heralding a summer of strong gasoline demand.

About 30.7 million people will drive to destinations 50 miles or more away from home between May 24 and 28, the start of the peak driving season in the United States.

Last year, only 30.3 million people drove to their destinations during the holiday weekend, which serves as an early gauge of summer gasoline sales at pumping stations.

“The overall domestic economic picture continues to improve slightly,” Robert L. Darbelnet, AAA president and CEO, said in a statement.

Motorists, however, took a hit from high gasoline prices this spring and will try to save money by staying close to home and cutting entertainment costs, he added.Gas Pump Fill-up

U.S. gasoline prices were averaging $3.73 a gallon last week, compared with $3.96 a year ago.

The forecast indicates motorists may be in a better position to weather higher prices. Fears that gasoline would hit a record $5 a gallon, fueled by the rising cost of oil early in 2012, have abated but prices are higher than in 2008, when Memorial Day travel fell more than 10 percent due to soaring costs.

The forecast, based on a survey of 50,000 U.S. households, found that more than half of its respondents did not change their travel plans because of high gasoline prices.

The government has projected that U.S. summer gasoline prices will average $3.79 a gallon, 8 cents more than last year but significantly lower than the $4 danger zone beyond which, analysts say, demand will drop significantly.

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