(FOX Business) Gas prices may surge after Tropical Storm Barry hits the Gulf Coast, where it is currently threatening millions.
The national average price of gas has increased the past few weeks, according to AAA. The price averaged $2.78 a gallon on Friday, up about two cents from a week ago.
GasBuddy, an app that helps consumers find the cheapest gas in their areas, wrote in a tweet on Thursday, “We are monitoring #TropicalStormBarry for potential fuel-related outages and activity. Half of the gas and oil production in the Gulf is closed due to the storm. We may see gas prices go up in the near future.”
A number of states recently moved to raise their gas taxes. The 13 states that introduced new gas taxes include California, Ohio and Illinois.
Patrick DeHaan, a petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, told USA Today Opens a New Window. that prices will “wobble higher” but the impact will be “minor.” He said he was more worried about the storm affecting refineries.
“For the Gulf area, because there is so much refining capacity, I would be less worried about pricing and more worried about supply disruption,” DeHaan said.
Meanwhile, U.S. oil producers have evacuated oil platform workers from 257 offshore facilities and seven rigs in preparation for the storm, which is expected to make landfall on Saturday morning.
“Just those impacted by the storm have gone through the necessary emergency procedures to evacuate personnel and prepare for the worst,” Louisiana Oil & Gas Association President Gifford Briggs said exclusively on FOX Business’ “The Claman Countdown Opens a New Window. ” Friday.
Oil prices have increased slightly, settling at $60.21 a barrel.
Following Hurricane Harvey in 2017, gas prices rose due to flooding that forced Gulf Coast refineries and the nation’s largest gasoline pipeline to shut down temporarily. Gas prices shot up 10 cents from the previous week following the storm, according to AAA.
On Saturday, Tropical Storm Barry was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph as it churns off the Louisiana coastline. The storm is expected to bring heavy rain and knock out power. The storm made landfall Saturday in Louisiana and was downgraded to a tropical storm.