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Gas prices fall in Houston, rise nationally

Marcy de Luna, Houston Chronicle  


    Sep. 20—Although gasoline prices increased nationally last week, they decreased slightly in Houston.

    Houston gas prices fell a penny per gallon in the past week to an average of $2.72, down 3.4 cents from a month ago, but 93.3 cents a gallon higher than a year ago, according to the fuel-price tracking website GasBuddy. Nationally, prices rose 1.3 cents to $3.18 a gallon, up 1.8 cents from a month ago and $1.01 higher than a year ago.

    Gas prices remain near 2021 highs in the wake of Hurricane Ida, GasBuddy said. While some oil companies began reopening offshore platforms, refineries and pipelines two days after Hurricane Ida slammed into Louisiana late last month, other facilities were hampered by power outages and flooding.

    "Gas prices have been stuck in somewhat of a limbo and remain near 2021 highs long after Hurricane Ida has dissipated," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. "The damage done to oil production has been left behind and so far has prevented prices from resuming their seasonal decline."

    The Energy Department on Thursday said U.S. Gulf oil output fell by about 200,000 barrels per day in August to 1.5 million barrels per day. September production is expected to fall by 500,000 barrels per day to 1.2 million barrels per day, the agency said.

    "With gasoline demand remaining relatively high for the season, oil inventories remain relatively tight, preventing any organized decline in gas prices for the time being," De Haan said. "As a result, we may have to wait a couple more weeks until hurricane season slows for oil inventories to start to rise and gas prices to fall."


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