Heat Wave Causing Refinery Outages and Contributing to Gas Price Surge, Analyst Says

by Addison Smith


Last week, gas prices reached an 8-month high in the U.S. at $3.714 per gallon, following a high volume of production cuts from OPEC. That number has since increased, which an analyst pinned directly on the ongoing heat wave taking place throughout the country.

On Monday, gas averaged $3.757 per gallon, up more than 16 cents from a week ago, according to AAA. Patrick De Haan, the lead petroleum analyst at the fuel savings site GasBuddy, explained how the heat wave contributed to this uptick.

“Gas prices suddenly soared over the last week due to heat-related refinery outages that impacted some of the largest refineries in the country, at a time when summer gasoline demand peaks and as gasoline inventories slid to their lowest July level since 2015,” De Haan said in a GasBuddy report.

“In addition, oil prices surged to their highest level in months, rising to over $80 per barrel due to SPR releases coming to an end and concerns over cuts in supply from Saudi Arabia and Russia, the second and third largest oil producers in the world.”

“SPR” – or “strategic petroleum reserve” is a stockpile of crude oil suitable to processing into gasoline and other fuel products. The SPR is run by U.S. Department of Energy and stored in four, separate salt caverns near the Gulf of Mexico. In all, the facilities have a total storage capacity of 714 million barrels making it the largest of its kind in the world.

Though De Haan predicted the dramatic surge should begin to slow, he also warned that “any new issues” could send the national average back over $4/gal for the first time since last year.

President Biden has presided over the highest average gas prices in American history, clocking in at $5.018 per gallon of regular unleaded and $5.816 per gallon of diesel, both in June 2022.

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Addison Smith is a reporter at Just the News. Follow Addison on Twitter.



Reprinted with permission from Just the News

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