Gas prices may jump temporarily following Ida
The national gas price average had decreased by two cents as of Sunday, according to AAA, the cheapest price since early July, but was back up a penny to $3.15 Monday morning following Hurricane Ida.
The storm has left more than 1 million people in Louisiana and Mississippi without power and likely taken about 13 percent of U.S. refining capacity offline. There were nine oil refineries in Ida’s path; at least four were believed to have shut down operations ahead of the storm.
“Until the power is restored, it’s too early to know the full impact of any damage Ida caused on the oil and gas industry, but drivers regionally can expect price fluctuations leading into Labor Day weekend,” said Morgan Dean, AAA spokesperson. “Typically, a category 4 storm could mean three plus weeks before refineries are back to normal operations, while offshore production is more likely to resume this week.”
As a precautionary measure, Colonial Pipeline announced on Sunday that it had shut down two main lines that run from Houston to Greensboro, N.C. The company added that following an infrastructure inspection after the storm, the pipeline would be back to full service.
Gas prices nationally, especially in the Southeast and East Coast, will see minimal impact at the pump if the pipeline is down for a matter of hours versus days.