US Gasoline Prices Ease After Harvey, Irma

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Average gasoline prices have dropped in 45 of 50 states, with the national average declining nearly five cents a gallon to $2.60 in the first weekly drop since damage from Hurricane Harvey forced refineries to close several weeks ago.

Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for gasoline price information provider GasBuddy, said:

Gasoline production has continued to recover after Harvey. … With refineries continuing to get back online and with demand cooling off from the summer months, we have more room to see the national average drop in the week ahead. In fact, this week could see some of the largest drops in gas prices in many months.

Refineries have ramped up production in Harvey’s wake, and wholesale gasoline prices have eased as supply comes back online, allowing gas stations to begin passing along the lower prices.

The relief was widespread, with the exception being the west coast and areas of the Rockies.

DeHaan said:

It still will take time to completely heal from the issues Harvey and Irma left, particularly due to the large scale disruptions of fuel logistics and production. But improvement will continue both with lower retail prices and high refinery output.”

These are the top 10 states where gasoline prices have slipped the most: Michigan (13 cents), Indiana (13 cents), Illinois (11 cents), Delaware (11 cents), Nebraska (10 cents), Ohio (nine cents), Maryland (seven cents), Kentucky (seven cents), New Jersey (six cents) and Missouri (five cents).

Leading the nation with the lowest gas prices: Oklahoma ($2.33 a gallon), Missouri ($2.34), Arkansas ($2.36), Kansas ($2.39), Ohio ($2.39), Louisiana ($2.40), Indiana ($2.45), Mississippi ($2.45), Minnesota ($2.46) and Illinois ($2.46).

Where the highest gas prices were found: Hawaii ($3.34 a gallon), California ($3.20), Alaska ($3.05), Washington ($3.03), Nevada ($2.91), Oregon ($2.90), Pennsylvania ($2.86), Connecticut ($2.86), New York ($2.79) and Rhode Island ($2.73).

Gasoline prices spiked in the Northeast because supply was diverted to the Gulf of Mexico and Florida after Hurricane Harvey.

Hurricane season is hardly over, and weather experts are keeping an eye on Hurricane Maria, which has the potential to hit the U.S. mainland. There likely will be little impact to gasoline prices unless Maria takes aim at the Gulf region, where so much of the U.S. oil production and refinery capacity exists.