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Winter storm shutdowns, rising oil prices driving higher gas prices

Gas Octane Options
Posted at 6:53 AM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 06:53:04-05

(WXYZ) — Drivers may have noticed a jump at the pump recently, as much of the country is dealing with a winter storm and Arctic cold temperatures.

Texas continues to deal with power outages and major issues affecting people and businesses, and the rest of the country could feel a ripple effect especially with petroleum.

“We may see a little bit of a fade here but don’t be duped I think we may see another jump next week at the pump,” said Patrick De Haan with Gas Buddy.

Patrick says because of the winter storm that hit Texas and because Texas provides 20 percent of the nation's refining capacity, everything shutdown causing a ripple effect across the country.

“So we are looking at a drastic drop in gasoline supply and other petroleum products, that and the price of oil is pushing the price of gas prices up to their highest level in over a year,” said De Haan.

Drivers are noticing the spike.

“Frankly I can’t really afford them these days. Gas prices are high, and we are all pretty frugal these days,” said Annie Silver.

“I’m not entirely happy by it, but I’m not necessarily surprised it’s going up,” said Zachary Zoellner.

De Haan says drivers should expect a bit of a roller coaster ride with prices, but we could see as much as 3 dollars a gallon by Memorial Day weekend.

“One of the factors we’re watching is what OPEC is doing. More Americans filling their tanks up, driving demand, the big question is will oil-producing countries raise output to match this,” said De Haan.

De Haan says even with the Marathon refinery right here in our own backyard, the market is what’s driving up the price.

“When you see a fifth of all US refining capacity offline, it does have ripple effects across the country,” said De Haan. "It’s all market-driven, unfortunately, it would be like Florida’s oranges freezing and only prices going up in Florida."

In case you are wondering which days are best to fill up, Patrick suggests late Sunday or early Monday. Gas prices are at their highest during the week.