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Gas prices expected to rise after Hurricane Harvey strikes Texas coast

Gas prices expected to rise after Hurricane Harvey strikes Texas coast 

BALTIMORE, Md. (WBFF) -- Gas prices are expected to jump in some parts of the country as Hurricane Harvey has now reached the Texas coast.

The Gulf of Mexico is a major source of oil and natural gas and because these refineries service the mid-Atlantic experts say there’s a potential for the price at the pump to increase locally.

“If refineries are offline for an extended period of time that could impact the supply of gasoline to the Baltimore region,” said Daraius Irani, a chief economist at Towson University.

Irani described an extended period of time as more than two weeks.

Some refineries have already closed in anticipation of the category 4 hurricane.

The Bureau of Safety and Environment Enforcement reported Friday personnel have been evacuated from 86 structures located offshore from which oil and natural gas are produced.

GasBuddy.com reports the shutdowns have led wholesale gasoline prices to rise nearly 10 cents per gallon, varying by location with the largest jumps in the gulf.

“This storm came out of left field and while we were all watching the eclipse, Harvey was gaining steam and pushing forward. The impact on Texas could be significant, which could lead to long-term issues in terms of gasoline supply for large portions of the country. While the picture continues to change, one thing is nearly guaranteed; gasoline prices in every state will be impacted to varying degrees over the next 1-2 weeks, possibly longer, so buckle up and be ready,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.

According to GasBuddy.com the nation average price of gasoline is $2.35 per gallon.

That’s more than 2 cents higher than last week, data shows. According to the website, Maryland’s average sits at $2.30 per gallon, 5 cents lower than the national average.

Irani told Fox 45 news how much gas prices spike locally is dependent on the amount of damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.

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