Bruce klinger: north korea's dangerous cyber threat

By Chris Isidore, CNN Business Updated Aug 30, 2021 Updated Aug 30, 2021 | Posted on Aug 30, 2021

Hurricane Ida"s direct hit on the nation"s oil và gasoline industry could sover gas prices higher. Pictured is damaged Shell station in Kenner, Louisiamãng cầu, on August 30, after Hurricane Idomain authority made landfall.

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Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images

Hurricane Ida"s direct hit on the nation"s oil and gasoline industry could sover gas prices higher, exacerbating inflation that"s already hurting American consumers.

But how much prices will increase, and for how long, will depover on the extent of the damage. The storm hit Louisiamãng cầu & the Gulf Coast on Sunday, killing at least one person và knocking out power for more than 1 million customers.

The price of a gallon of regular gas stood at $3.15 Monday, according AAA, up only a fraction of a penny from the previous day"s average, and down 1 cent from a week ago. But wholesale gasoline futures were about 5 cents higher in early trading Monday. They were up as much as 10 cents a gallon in Sunday night trading, suggesting retail prices could soon follow suit.

Gas prices have sầu already shot up nearly 80% from their low point in April 20trăng tròn, when driving and economic activity broadly came to a halternative text because of the pandemic. But in the months since, Americans have been hitting the road in droves, sending demand for gas up sharply. Prices are up 41% since last August.

Gulf shore production shuts down

More than 95% of US oil production at offshore platforms & rigs in the Gulf of Mexiteo were shut down ahead of Hurricane Idomain authority, according khổng lồ the Bureau of Safety và Environmental Enforcement, the federal regulator overseeing those facilities. They will remain shut until further notice, said Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis for the Oil Price Information Service, which tracks prices for AAA.

Most of the major refineries in the region are shuttered or running at reduced rates, Kloza said, with with no word yet when they"ll be back lớn normal.

Louisiamãng cầu is trang chính to three of the nation"s seven largest refineries, và accounts for 17.5% of the nation"s overall refining capathành phố at its 15 refineries, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

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Another concern is that major pipelines carrying gas, diesel & jet fuel from the Gulf Coast to other states were also shut as a precaution ahead of the storm. The shutdown of one of those, the Colonial Pipeline, after a computer haông xã earlier this year, caused price spikes & gasoline shortages along parts of the East Coast.

Although the flow of oil from offshore platforms and rigs was expected lớn return to normal within a few days flooding or prolonged power outages could keep the refineries và pipelines offline, which could also push gasoline prices up, Kloza said.

Another potential disruption could come from consumers themselves. In May, panic-buying at the pump exacerbated price surges and shortages during the shutdown of the the Colonial Pipeline.

"We have sầu to lớn watch for bad human behavior," Kloza said. "It"s the week before Labor Day, which is normally a high-demand week anyway."

Bracing for price spikes

The worst one-week spike of the last 30 years followed Hurricane Katrimãng cầu in 2005. The average price of a gallon of regular gas shot up 46 cents, or 18%, to $3.07 a gallon, according to data from the EIA. It took two months for gas prices lớn return to lớn pre-Katrina levels after that storm.

But that kind of spike is a worst-case scenario. In 2005, many refineries in the region were flooded & without power for months, Kloza said.

The greachạy thử impact on gas prices will likely be in the Southeast, said Kloza, which was the area of the country with the cheapest gas ahead of the storm. All the states across the region have sầu average prices below $3 a gallon today.

Another factor in the direction could be an upcoming meeting of OPEC oil ministers along with officials from Russia và several other major oil producers.

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The Biden administration, concerned about inflation, has been pressuring allies in the group to lớn agree khổng lồ an increase in production. The group had been widely expected to lớn agree khổng lồ a 400,000 barrels a day increase. But Reuters reported that Kuwait"s oil minister made comments on Sunday questioning whether such an increase is needed in the face of surging Covid-19 cases and expectations that the ongoing pandemic could cut inkhổng lồ economic activity and oil consumption.

"The markets are slowing," Mohammad Abdulatif al-Fares said in comments khổng lồ Reuters on Sunday. "Since Covid-19 has begun its fourth wave in some areas, we must be careful and reconsider this increase."


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