Daytona Beach, FL - Analysis from AAA shows Florida's average price for gas had the highest increase in the United States, which is probably why Volusia and Flagler drivers are seeing gas prices over $3.
Since Monday (September 13), the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline jumped to $3.19, which ties with early August peaks while it matches a current 7-year high. Analysts from AAA say this is from the impacts from Hurricanes Ida and Nicholas—the remnants of which are still hanging around Louisiana and Texas as of Friday—on oil and refinery production.
Reports from the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement say 30 percent of crude oil production in the Gulf of Mexico remains shuttered. As the recovery process continues, AAA says reduced crude production and refining capacity will likely cause prices to fluctuate throughout the weekend. Some states, so far, have dropped 3 cents while states like Florida have jumped 9 cents.
At the close of Thursday's trading session, the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil remained unchanged at $72.61 a barrel; a new high not seen since July, according to AAA. While crude prices remained unchanged, prices have primarily increased this week due to the market reacting to impacts from Ida and Nicholas.
Analysts say tightened crude supplies will likely be offset by less gas demand after the Labor Day weekend, which decreased from 9.61 million barrels per day (b/d) to 8.89 million b/d in the Energy Information Administration's new weekly report. The impact from recent hurricanes, however, will likely keep prices elevated for some time.
Locally, drivers in the Volusia and Flagler areas are paying, on average, $3.09 per gallon of regular unleaded gas at the pump. A week ago, drivers in the Daytona Beach area were seeing averages hanging around $2.98, but that has since jumped 11 cents.
And while Florida saw the highest average price increase in the United States, the state's average of $3.10 per gallon remains lower than the national average of $3.19 per gallon.
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