Gas prices are going up because Hurricane Harvey is approaching refinery-rich Texas, but they should go back down next week, experts say.
On Friday morning, a gallon of gas cost about $2.30 in Belleville, according to www.gasbuddy.com. Earlier this week, Kiplinger, which publishes business and financial forecasts, had expected the average price to hold steady for the summer.
“You’re seeing prices move up because refiners have to take precautionary measures,” said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service.
Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates, said it could take oil refiners up to three weeks to get oil prices back to normal after a storm.
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“That is because in Category 3 there is more likely to be lots of evacuations, widespread power outages, flooding and difficulty getting workers back to facilities,” Lipow said.
Also on Friday morning, President Donald Trump signed an executive order against the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, the parent company of Citgo, which means banks cannot lend to the company.
Citgo announced Friday that it is shutting down the oil refinery in Corpus Christi in advance of Hurricane Harvey. Citgo is one of several companies that have refineries in the storm’s path.