Gas Prices

Gas prices are down a penny in the city, while the region prices are down nine cents this week, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

In the city, the average price is up to $3.28. The region prices are at $3.23 a gallon.

The national gas price average decreased by two cents as of Sunday, the cheapest price since early July, but was back up a penny to $3.15 Monday morning following Hurricane Ida. The storm has left more than one million people in Louisiana and Mississippi without power and taken about 13 percent of U.S. refining capacity offline. There were nine oil refineries in Ida’s path and at least four were believed to have shut down operations ahead of the storm.

Until the power is restored, it’s too early to know the full impact of any damage Ida caused on the oil and gas industry, but motorists regionally can expect price fluctuations leading into Labor Day weekend. Typically, a category 4 storm could mean three plus weeks before refineries are back to normal operations, while offshore production is more likely to resume this week.

As a precautionary measure, Colonial Pipeline announced on Sunday that they shut down two main lines that run from Houston, Texas, to Greensboro, North Carolina.

The company added that following an infrastructure inspection after the storm, the pipeline would be back to full service. Gas prices nationally, especially in the southeast and east coast, will see minimal impact at the pump if the pipeline is down for a matter of hours versus days. AAA will continue to monitor the latest oil and gas developments resulting from Ida and provide updates, especially on the re-opening of the Colonial Pipeline.

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