Hurricane Ida likely to drive up gas prices in Florida

Pumping Gas – Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image by Dragana Gordic

After Florida drivers have enjoyed a brief period of lower gas prices in recent weeks, Hurricane Ida is likely to make it a bit pricier to fill up.

Florida’s average gas prices have gone down during the past three weeks, reaching $2.95 a gallon for regular unleaded on Sunday. That was down three cents a gallon from the previous week.

On Monday, the AAA auto club said that the massive hurricane, which made landfall this past Sunday in Louisiana, caused prices for gas in the future to increase. Louisiana and several parts of the Gulf Coast play a major role in oil production. 

Refineries in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Texas account for “more than 45% of the nation’s capacity for refining crude oil into gasoline and other important products. Additionally, the region is home to nearly 2,000 offshore oil platforms, which accounts for 17% of the nation’s crude oil production.”

It is still unclear how prices will be affected at the pump, but the supply chain is likely to experience some interruptions.

AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins stated on Monday that “drivers will almost assuredly see gas prices rise this week, because of Hurricane Ida’s effects on the Gulf Coast. Based on overnight movement in the futures market, a 10- to 20-cent jump at the pump is not out of the question. Where gas prices go from here will depend on the extent of the damage and how long it will take for fuel production and transportation lines to return to normal.”

Ahead of the storm, offshore oil rigs and different supply sources in the area were secured. Nine rigs were in the storm’s path therefore four of those were shut down safely while another reduced operation. 

In total, more than 90% of all Gulf offshore rigs were shut down ahead of the storm, whittling production by 15% temporarily. The Colonial Pipeline that recently fell victim to a cyber-attack was shut down on Sunday as a precaution. After the cyber-attack, high prices and panic buying soared. 

Hurricane Ida was one of the strongest storms to ever hit the mainland U.S. Although the damage to Louisiana is our primary concern, we will definitely feel the impact at Florida’s gas pumps. 

South Florida’s gas prices have been sitting between the state and national averages.

Across the region, the average prices are as follows on Monday morning:

  • Miami-Dade County: $2.99
  • Broward County: $3.01
  • Monroe County: $3.13
  • Palm Beach County: $3.12

More Regional Prices

  • Most expensive metro markets – West Palm Beach-Boca Raton ($3.12), Panama City ($3.07), Tallahassee ($3.05). 
  • Least expensive metro markets – Punta Gorda ($2.80), Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater ($2.87), Orlando ($2.88).

For more information on Florida gas prices, click here.

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