PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - The combination of the holiday weekend and the aftermath of Hurricane Ida is creating the potential for a surprise at the gas pump.
The Labor Day Weekend brings the summer driving season to a close so demand is still high.
Patrick De Haan of GasBuddy.com says that demand comes on top of, "About 14% of total U.S. refining capacity was shut down because of the power losses, not much has come back yet."
He says it's not just the issue of the electricity in the Gulf region.
"Much of the oil production in the Gulf of Mexico [is] still shut down the Louisiana offshore oil port which brings in crude oil from other countries is shut down and portions of the Mississippi River remain shut down," De Haan says.
De Haan spent Thursday on the phone with the major oil producers and says they are hoping to get back into operation by the end of the weekend so the impact should not be a protracted outage.
"So some good news ahead of the Labor Day Weekend, though prices are starting to go up a little bit because of Hurricane Ida, it probably won't be significant, it will be minor," he explains.
Meaning a nickel at the pump rather than fifteen cents as had been expected.
"Pittsburgh may be able to skate by without a measurable impact from the storm," he says. "Still though, it's kind of early we don't know the full extent of the damage from the floodwaters along the east coast yesterday so there could be some disruption. I think that the endgame here is that prices may go up over the weekend and for the next week or two as a result of Ida and the storm dropping so much rain yesterday in the northeast, but then by the end of September we should start to see prices receding."
As they normally do in September when the summer driving season comes to a close.
So for now, if your station is still at or under the Pittsburgh average of $3.31 a gallon you might want to consider filling up.
The price could change when the next tanker truck arrives to refill the station's tanks.
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