Area gasoline prices have been rising on the heels of last week’s arctic weather which caused refinery and fuel delivery problems, said Mark Jenkins, spokesman for AAA.
He said price stabilization “depends on how quickly refineries have recovered.”
Power outages from the storm knocked gasoline refineries in Texas and neighboring states offline and interfered with fuel shipments.
The region is a major source of gasoline in the U.S., accounting for more than 45% of the nation’s petroleum refining capacity.
Much of Florida’s gasoline comes from refineries in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. Interruption to the supply line there directly impacts prices here.
Jenkins said on average, Florida gasoline prices at the pump jumped 15 cents last week. Drivers are now paying an average price of $2.61 per gallon — the highest daily gas price average since July 2019.
Jenkins compared the recent price hike at the pumps “to what you’d expect if a hurricane struck the Gulf Coast region.”
Jenkins also compared the impact the weather had on refineries to operations in the aftermath of a hurricane. In both instances, “workers are working to return to normal operations.” But news of extended downtime at refineries or supply problems could cause another round of rising prices.
At noon Monday gaspricewatch.com reported the following average prices for gasoline in our area: Port Charlotte, $2.56 per gallon of regular unleaded; Punta Gorda, $2.53 gallon; and North Port, $2.60.