by Christopher Freeburn | August 31, 2012 10:08 am
Americans heading off to enjoy the final weekend of summer are getting a nasty surprise at the gas pump.
Prices for gasoline jumped almost 5 cents a gallon on Wednesday, the largest single-day rise in a year and a half, due to the shut down of oil pipelines and terminals along the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Isaac, the Associated Press noted.
The national average price for a gallon of gas hit $3.80 this week, topping August 2008’s record of $3.67 a gallon. This week, some states saw gas prices shoot up more than 10 cents a gallon, especially Midwest states like Indiana and Ohio, which are supplied directly from the Gulf.
Of course, gas prices were already rising before Isaac blew into the Gulf, up 40 cents a gallon since July, meaning that drivers will likely pay the most ever to fill up their cars this Labor Day weekend.
However, the sudden price spike is likely to be only temporary. Despite its bluster, Isaac left most refineries and oil processing infrastructure undamaged. Once workers return to the facilities, production should quickly return to its normal pace, sending prices back down.
A number of companies with oil operations in the Gulf say that their facilities escaped major damage and will soon resume operations, including Valero (NYSE:VLO), Anadarko (NYSE:APC), Chevron (NYSE:CVX), Enbridge (NYSE: ENB), Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC). Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX), however, reported flooding at one of its Louisiana facilities, Dow Jones noted.
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