Hurricane Matthew, pipeline leak, refinery issues detour seasonal decline in gas prices

gas pricesGas prices have increased nationally for 12 of the past 14 days, reaching today’s price of $2.26 per gallon.

Today’s average price is three cents more than one week ago, eight cents more than one month ago and six cents less than one year ago.  In Virginia, today’s average price of $2.12 per gallon is two cents higher than a week ago, 13 cents higher than a month ago and six cents more than last year.

“While Virginia gas prices are still largely cheaper than the majority of states nationwide, prices in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast have moved higher over the past week which can likely be attributed to Hurricane Matthew’s impact on the Southeast region,” said Tammy Arnette, Senior Public Affairs Specialist for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Over the weekend, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina saw the arrival of Hurricane Matthew and residents in those areas expressed significant concerns about the availability of gasoline leading up to and following the storm. Ports and fuel terminals in all three states were closed ahead of the storm. Fortunately, there were no refineries threatened by the path of the storm and by Friday afternoon many ports in southern Florida were already cleared by the Coast Guard and open to receive vessels.

Many coastal ports are expected to reopen on Monday, allowing waterborne deliveries of gasoline to continue. Barring any delays due to flooding and power outages, tanker trucks should be able to access terminals and quickly resupply stations across the impacted areas.


Quick Stats

• The West Coast continues to be the most expensive market for gasoline, including the only six states where drivers are paying $2.50 or more on average: Hawaii ($2.84), California ($2.79) Washington ($2.71) Alaska ($2.63), Oregon ($2.52) and Nevada ($2.51).

• The states with the largest increases this week are Indiana (+11 cents), Michigan (+10 cents), Missouri (+8 cents), West Virginia (+8 cents), Ohio (+8 cents), Illinois (+6 cents) and Florida (+6 cents).


Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Increases have been most evident in the Mid-Atlantic, where two states and D.C. made the list of top-15 largest weekly increases: District of Columbia (+5 cents), New Jersey (+4 cents), and Pennsylvania (+4 cents).


South and Southeast

Hurricane Matthew caused prices to jump in some parts of the region, with Florida (+6 cents) and North Carolina (+4 cents) both landing on the list of top-15 weekly increases. The Hurricane caused supply issues at many gas stations last week as evacuation notices resulted in closed ports and terminals. Without access to local terminals, many gas stations could not handle the high demand of drivers preparing for the hurricane. Despite the issues, gasoline supplies in the Southeast region remain plentiful. Hurricane Matthew was expected to have much more impact on demand and less on supply. On Friday afternoon, ports in Miami, Key West and Port Canaveral were already reopened to vessel traffic. Barring any delays due to flooding and power outages, tanker trucks should be able to access terminals and resupply stations across the impacted areas.





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