Those taking car trips over the long Labor Day weekend will feel some pain at the pump, according to reports that gas prices are expected to rise as 15 Gulf Coast refineries have been shut down temporarily in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. As the prices rise, travelers look for different ways to save on gas.
The shutdown includes the largest refinery in North America, owned by Motiva Enterprises and located in Port Arthur, Texas. The refinery began shutting down around 5 a.m. CST on Wednesday due to flooding from the tropical storm, reported Business Insider. The facility normally has a capacity of 603,000 barrels per day. Motiva Enterprises is owned by Saudi Aramco and is headquartered in Houston. The company announced that the refinery would stay closed until floodwaters recede in the area.
As a result of the closure, which shut down around 21% of U.S. refining capacity, gas prices are rising from coast to coast, and are set to spike further, reported ABC News.
GasBuddy predicted the national average for a gallon of gas, which is now $2.43, will increase another 15-25 cents per gallon in coming weeks.
The price spike is expected to last another two to three weeks, reported ABC, who quoted GasBuddy petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan as saying, “The biggest problem right now is there’s not enough gasoline being produced. This is a market at work.”
Refineries recently have been producing at high capacity because of increased U.S. gas consumption during the summer months.
Those traveling between states over the holiday weekend might find gas savings by researching which states are cheaper and filling up there, if possible. Gas prices can be checked using tools such as GasBuddy. Some of the cities where above-average gas prices are typically charged include Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.