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    Hurricane Ida to cause slight uptick in gas prices


    September 3, 2021 - Daniel Kiewel, Great Bend Tribune, Kan.

     

      Sep. 2—Hurricane Ida, which has already exacted a heavy toll in states along the Gulf of Mexico, may also wipe out recent declines in national gas prices.

      According to Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, while national prices have recently declined, the powerful storm, which made landfall as a category 4 hurricane along the gulf over the weekend, has caused disruptions to critical infrastructure, including oil production, refineries and pipelines.

      This disruption, DeHaan said, could lead to a rise of between five and 15 cents at per gallon at the pump over the next two weeks, effectively erasing recent declines in prices of around two cents in the last week, and nearly three cents below a month ago. Though motorists will feel the pinch, he said, the impact is still far less than past gulf hurricanes Katrina and Harvey.

      In Kansas, gas prices are nearly unchanged in the past week, according to GasBuddy price reports, averaging $2.90 per gallon as of Monday, according to the group's daily survey of 1,329 stations across the state. Prices are still less than a cent lower than a month ago in the state, and 92.5 cents a gallon higher than last year at this time.

      Locally, Great Bend gas stations' prices showed little variation, ranging with most ranging between $2.89 and $2.91 a gallon Monday. Surrounding areas in the Golden Belt region reported prices ranging from $2.85 in Rush County, to $2.99 in Pawnee and Rice counties. Other Barton County community prices include $2.79 a gallon in Ellinwood and $2.99 a gallon in Hoisington.

      According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Kansas was $2.59 per gallon Monday, while the most expensive was $3.34 per gallon, a difference of 75 cents. The Wichita area averaged $2.81 per gallon, down 1.1 cents per gallon from last week's $2.82, while the Topeka area averaged $2.91 per gallon, down 2.1 cents per gallon from last week's $2.94.

      The Golden Belt and the state remain a quarter a gallon below the national average of $3.15 per gallon, according to reports. The national average has dropped about three cents per gallon in the last week. Much like in Kansas, the national average is up 4.7 cents per gallon from a month ago and stands 97.2 cents per gallon higher than a year ago.

      DeHaan, however, noted, much remains unknown as to the long-term impact of Ida on fuel prices.

      "While Colonial Pipeline shut lines one and two as a precaution, it's highly unlikely that this will cause any long-term disruption to fuel supply like we saw months ago after the company was hacked," DeHaan said. "The biggest question for refineries will be the flooding, which could alter the rise in gas prices, but the odds of a massive surge in gas prices nationwide are extremely low."

      ___

      (c)2021 Great Bend Tribune, Kan.

      Visit Great Bend Tribune, Kan. at www.gbtribune.com

      Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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