Tags: Gas | prices | summer | Isaac

CNNMoney: End of Summer Spike in Gas Prices Surprises Drivers

Wednesday, 12 September 2012 09:52 AM

Gas prices are spiking at the end of the summer, a time when they normally decline, thanks to Hurricane Isaac that disrupted operations Gulf of Mexico oil rigs and refineries, experts say.

A gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is currently averaging $3.86, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report, over 20 cents higher than a year ago.

Prices normally decline this year, especially around Sept. 15, when refineries switch to cool-weather inputs that cost less than do summer feedstocks.

Editor's Note: The ‘Unthinkable’ Could Happen — Wall Street Journal. Prepare for Meltdown

Many refineries are ramping back up after Isaac hit but are do so slowly, opting instead to wait until Sept. 15 when they can produce cheaper gasoline blends.

“There’s a rocket and feather effect — the price goes up much faster than it comes down,” said Tom Kloza, chief analyst at the Oil Price Information Service, according to CNNMoney.

Gasoline prices are spiking the highest in the northeast, an area that imports more gasoline than any other in the country.

Gasoline prices have shot up 8 cents on a nationwide average in just two weeks largely due to Hurricane Isaac, according to The Associate Press.

Less than a penny from that 8 cents can be attributed to higher crude prices, said Trilby Lundberg, editor of the Lundberg Survey, which covers some 2,500 gas stations nationwide.
Aside from Isaac, scheduled maintenance work at some refineries has sent prices higher as well.

“We probably will not see further price hikes in the next two weeks,” said Lundberg, the AP reported.

Editor's Note: The ‘Unthinkable’ Could Happen — Wall Street Journal. Prepare for Meltdown

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