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Gas Prices Could Spike Across Tampa Bay As Hurricane Ida Reduces Supply

Gas pump with a bag saying it's out of service
Carl Lisciandrello
/
WUSF Pubilc Media
Gas prices could rise due to concerns that Hurricane Ida will affect the fuel supply across the country. These pumps were out of gas in Safety Harbor on Aug. 30, 2021.

A spokesman for AAA says the price of gas could increase 10-20 cents a gallon this week.

After seeing gas prices dip in August, drivers across the greater Tampa Bay region can expect to pay more at the pump in the coming days.

According to a Monday release from AAA, the increase is due to concerns that Hurricane Ida could affect the fuel supply across the country.

"Drivers will almost assuredly see gas prices rise this week, because of Hurricane Ida's effects on the Gulf Coast," AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said in the release. “Based on overnight movement in the futures market, a 10-20 cent jump at the pump is not out of the question.

“Where gas prices go from here will depend on the extent of the damage and how long it will take for fuel production and transportation lines to return to normal."

According to the release, more than 90% of the offshore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico were shut down ahead of Ida’s arrival this past weekend. Those rigs account for 15% of the country’s oil.

The storm also forced the closure of nine refineries in Ida’s forecast track, which account for 24% of the refining capacity in the Gulf Coast.

In addition, nine refineries were in Ida’s forecast track

The Colonial Pipeline – which carries gas and diesel from Texas to states along the Eastern Seaboard – was shut down as a precaution on Sunday.

In order to increase supply, the release said state leaders are reportedly filing for a waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency to begin selling winter blend gasoline now instead of Sept. 15, when it normally makes the winter blend available.

The price of gas has slowly dropped across Florida over the last three weeks after reaching a high for the year of $3.03 a gallon earlier this month. The average price in the state is now at $2.95] a gallon, and $2.87 across the greater Tampa Bay region.

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