The state of Louisiana should expect minimal changes to gas prices following Hurricane Ida.
According to GasBuddy, any gas price deviation will depend on damage assessments following the hurricane, but the website only predicts the national average price per gallon to rise 5-15 cents.
Head of Petroleum Analysis Patrick DeHaan for GasBuddy said any impact on gas prices should be minimal compared to impacts experienced from Hurricane Harvey.
“While the national average price of gasoline declined yet again over the last week, Hurricane Ida has been causing countless disruptions to critical infrastructure, including oil production, refineries and pipelines,” DeHaan said. “We’re likely to see a reversal this week, but motorists need not be too concerned at this point.”
The Colonial Pipeline, the largest fuel pipeline in the United States which brings fuel to the Southeast, shut down lines 1 and 2 ahead of the storm, and DeHaan said it’s “highly unlikely” that there were any long-lasting damages sustained.
Rather, DeHaan said flooding at refineries could have more influence on rising gas prices. Still, he said “the odds of a massive surge in gas prices nationwide are extremely low.”
Prior to Hurricane Ida, Baton Rouge and New Orleans saw minor increases in gas prices. The state saw gas prices decrease by 0.8 cents per gallon, leading to an average of $2.81 per gallon, nearly 92 cents higher than a year ago. This number remains lower than the national average, which stands at $3.12 per gallon. This price is 2.2 cents lower than last week but 90.1 cents more than 2020.
Prices increased over the summer as a result of various COVID-19-related factors. Last summer, gas prices dropped because of COVID-19 precautions and more folks staying at home. In response to this, DeHaan said oil companies reduced production, leading to supply issues this year amidst high demand.
“Now demand has gone the opposite way; it has surged,” DeHaan said. “Oil production has not kept up. That’s part of the reason why prices are at seven-year highs and because COVID wreaked havoc on supply and demand.”
DeHaan said gas prices usually decrease around Labor Day as summer travel comes to an end, however, decreases won’t be significant just yet. Costs are expected to reach $3.11 per gallon, the highest Labor Day weekend price since 2014.
“While COVID continues to have a leading role in gasoline demand and companies plan their return to office, prices may be less predictable than normal,” DeHaan said. “However, seasonality will persist, and that means less gasoline demand as we progress through fall and into winter, and cost savings from the switch back to cheaper winter gasoline in mid-September. We should see more relief at the pump coming the deeper into fall we go.”
Written by Sabrina LeBoeuf