Gas prices in ‘limbo’ as seasonal hurricane damage prevents decline

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 10:18 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2021 at 5:19 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Analysts report gas prices in the Midlands and around the country remain close to year-long highs as oil production continues to recover in the wake of Hurricane Ida.

The national average price of gasoline has risen 1.3 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.18 per gallon Monday, according to information from GasBuddy. The national average is up 1.8 cents per gallon from a month ago and stands $1.01 per gallon higher than a year ago.

GasBuddy’s daily survey of 3,028 stations in South Carolina shows that South Carolina prices are averaging at $2.91 per gallon Monday.

Columbia gas prices have fallen 0.7 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.82 per gallon Monday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 350 stations in Columbia. Gas prices in Columbia are 1.6 cents per gallon higher than a month ago and stand $1 per gallon higher than a year ago.

According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Columbia is priced at $2.65 per gallon Monday while the most expensive is $2.97 per gallon, a difference of 32.0 cents per gallon. The lowest price in the state Monday is $2.65 per gallon while the highest is $3.45 per gallon, a difference of 80 cents per gallon.

“Gas prices have been stuck in somewhat of a limbo and remain near 2021 highs long after Hurricane Ida has dissipated. The damage done to oil production has been left behind and so far has prevented prices from resuming their seasonal decline,” GasBuddy Head of Petroleum Analysis Patrick De Haan said. “Ida caused the loss of over 30 million barrels of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico, and with gasoline demand remaining relatively high for the season, oil inventories remain relatively tight, preventing any organized decline in gas prices for the time being. As a result, we may have to wait a couple more weeks until hurricane season slows for oil inventories to start to rise and gas prices to fall.”

For more data from GasBuddy, click here.

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