Gas prices expected to rise because of Harvey's impact

High gas prices

Gas prices jumped throughout the nation and in Wyandotte County following Hurricane Harvey's damage to oil refining in Texas.

The devastation of the storm had caused several oil refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast to close as of Tuesday morning, including five in the Houston region and six in the Corpus Christi region, according to a USA Today report.

Analysts predict prices at the pump are likely to rise as much as 25-cents a gallon nationwide in the weeks ahead.

As of Monday afternoon, prices in Texas had already risen about three cents from the week before - hardly a dramatic spike, though gas is usually headed the other way this time of year, Mac said. The increase in price is due to demand from the Great American Eclipse and upcoming Labor Day travel, Conde said. Some analysts believe the increase could be 10 to 20 cents per gallon, though it would probably fall again as refining capacity comes back online. For instance, if you are driving from SC to North Carolina, fill up in SC. The association said airlines were planning to increase flights to meet that demand.

The gulf coast of Texas is about 3,000 km away but we're feeling Hurricane Harvey here. "Shop around, because gas stations in traditionally convenient locations tend to have higher prices", Mac said.

"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.

"As the week progresses and we get a better look at how refineries were impacted by the storm that should really tell the tale of what to expect down the road", he said.

How long we'll see higher prices, he says, really just depends on how long refineries are down.

He continued, "As gas prices go up refineries around the globe are seeing incentives to send gas to the United States". Tuesdays are recommended for "topping off" because while prices are not the cheapest, they're still usually pretty good.

McTeague said retail operators in such markets as Calgary, Montreal and Ottawa are barely breaking even now and could use the wholesale price increase as an excuse to raise prices by as much as another 10 cents per litre to boost profit margins.

Right now, the statewide average for a gallon of regular unleaded gas in SC is $2.10 and in North Carolina is $2.22.

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