Hedge funds continue to wager on a shortage of refined fuels driving prices higher, even as USA refineries gradually restart operations in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
The lowest-priced gas in the Naples-Bonita Springs area that's not part of a membership warehouse (Sam's Club and Costco) was $2.63 - at stations including the Speedway at 27001 Old 41 Road and East Terry Street in Bonita, and the 7-Eleven at 4831 USA 41 E., East Naples.
"In the near term, bank on higher oil and gasoline prices until refining facilities and other petroleum infrastructure are back in operation", McBride said. This year, hurricanes became the catalyst. Although oil prices hovered around $46 to $49 per barrel, gas prices have shot up 46 cents in Florida, 55 cents in Georgia and 46 cents in Tennessee since August 22.
But, he said you could see prices go down even more in the coming weeks.
According to the Department of Energy, a total of six Gulf Coast refineries shutdown during Hurricane Harvey are operating at reduced rates, which is one more refinery than last week.
"Gas demand should drastically decline across the Carolinas by the end of September, as the Labor Day holiday signaled the end of the summer driving season", Wright said.
"Plus, the threat of any new storms making landfall in the United States would compromise the collapse", he said. That's 27.4 cents higher than a month ago and 40.4 cents higher than a year ago. The average in Augusta was $2.59. The national average stood at $2.63 per gallon on Sunday.
The hurricane shut down around 25 percent of the US refining capacity when it flooded Houston, driving the national average price of gasoline up nearly 35 cents.
AAA Michigan surveys daily fuel prices at 2,800 gas stations across the state. Alaska, California, Hawaii, Montana and Utah saw average prices rise slightly, but should see relief in the weeks ahead. In New Hampshire, the price was $2.66 per gallon, down 2.9 cents from the previous week. The lowest was $2.23 on July 5.
Last week, gasoline hit the highest price in three years.
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