The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas has spiked in the last week, rising 28 cents to $2.54 per gallon.
AAA Texas Weekend Gas Watch said drivers in Dallas are paying the most on average at $2.67 per gallon, while motorists in Amarillo are paying $2.37 per gallon. The average price for a gallon in the Austin-San Marcos area is $2.57, up from $2.23 last week.
Motorists in 26 states are paying 25-44 cents more for a gallon of regular unleaded compared to a week ago, AAA said. Only four states have not seen an increase in gas prices (Alaska, Idaho, Hawaii and Utah), but AAA added prices are stable there.
The Department of Energy (DOE) said eight Gulf Coast refineries are in the process of restarting, and that Hurricane Harvey at its peak shuttered 27 percent of the U.S. oil processing capacity.
“News of refineries starting-up is very promising, especially for areas that have felt tightened supply levels over the past several days, but we aren’t in the clear yet,” said Daniel Armbruster, Senior Public Affairs Specialist for AAA Texas in a statement. “Texans will continue to feel pain at the pump stemming from Harvey with gas prices potentially increasing an additional five to ten cents in the week ahead. States in the south, southeast and mid-Atlantic are most likely to see the biggest surges as these states receive the bulk of their supplies from the Gulf Coast.”
AAA also said Texas is working to overcome distribution problems, including not having enough drivers and equipment to distribute fuel to gas stations. Truck drivers have flown in from other states to assist with distribution.
“Consumers could even see an additional surge if Hurricane Irma hits Florida this weekend,” Armbruster added. “Analysts say drivers may begin seeing relief from the gas price spike towards the end of this month.”
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