U.S. gas prices spike after Harvey shuts refineries

Gasoline prices revved up in the two weeks after Hurricane Harvey shut down refineries.

Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said Sunday that it was the biggest price hike recorded by the Lundberg Survey since 2011. But she says whole gasoline prices have started to decline since refineries came back online and she expects prices at the pump will follow.

In the survey on Sept. 8, the average price of regular gasoline was up 30 cents at $2.69 per gallon. That's 48 cents higher than a year ago. It also tops the highest price Americans have paid for gas in the past two years, when the average price reached $2.67 in August 2015, according to data from AAA. 

Last week, eight Gulf Coast refineries were restarting, with those locations representing about 10 percent of the refining capability on the Gulf Coast, the AAA said. It added that consumers in the south, southeast and mid-Atlantic states were the most likely to experience sharply higher prices at the pump because those regions rely on gas from the Gulf Coast more than others. Hurricane Irma, which hit Florida over the weekend, could also impact gas prices in September, the group warned.

The average price of diesel jumped 16 cents to $2.73 per gallon, according to Lundberg Survey. 

In the contiguous United States, gas was most expensive in San Francisco at $3.21 a gallon and cheapest in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at $2.31 a gallon.