With two major hurricanes now in the nation’s rear-view mirror, gas prices are starting to slowly come down.
At $2.62 per gallon of regular unleaded, gas prices Monday were five cents cheaper than last week and the lowest they’ve been in 15 days, according to AAA.
“Gas prices are dropping as the situation with refineries, pipelines and gasoline deliveries is positively progressing,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “It looks like pump prices will continue on this declining trend into the coming weeks as the regions affected by Irma and Harvey resume normal operations.”
Gasbuddy.com’s daily survey of 5,883 gas outlets in Georgia shows retail prices statewide falling three cents in the past week and is averaging $2.68. The average in Augusta was $2.59.
“As we welcome back winter gasoline across most of the country, gasoline production has continued to recover after Harvey, leading much of the country to enjoy falling gasoline prices along with fall weather,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. “With refineries continuing to get back online and with demand cooling off from the summer months, we have more room to see the national average drop in the week ahead. In fact, this week could see some of the largest drops in gas prices in many months. It still will take time to completely heal from the issues Harvey and Irma left, particularly due to the large scale disruptions of fuel logistics and production, but improvement will continue both with lower retail prices and high refinery output.”
According to the Department of Energy, a total of six Gulf Coast refineries shut down during Hurricane Harvey are operating at reduced rates, which is one more refinery than last week. These six facilities make up 13 percent of refining capacity in the U.S. Five refineries continue to operate at reduced rates and three remain shut down, which represents a total of 10 percent of U.S. refining capacity.
Despite the downward trend, the average cost of a gallon is nearly 36 cents higher than one year ago and 50.3 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 27.9 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 40.4 cents per gallon higher than one year ago, according to GasBuddy.