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Gas prices up across the country due to winter storms

Winter Weather-Gas Prices
Posted at 9:40 AM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 09:43:34-05

The arctic blast that's happening in Texas all the way to Maine is driving up gas prices right now.

Right before these winter storms, gas prices were lowering thanks to states easing travel restrictions. But now, it's hard for supply to keep up with demand.

“Over a dozen refineries in Texas have gone offline because of the extreme cold. Refineries are outdoors, exposed to the elements, in sub-freezing temperatures that are not good for them. They're not prepared for that,” said Patrick De Haan, Head of Petroleum Analysis at GasBuddy.

Refineries in Texas make up about 20% of the country's capacity, so experts at GasBuddy say this is a big hit for gasoline production.

It will not be difficult for refineries to come back online after the winter storm, but gas prices are expected to continue to rise over the next week.

However, there are signs that prices could start dropping in the spring.

“Saudi Arabia plans to boost oil production. Oil price have gone up from $35 a barrel on Halloween to $61 a barrel today. And now, finally, as oil production has lagged, but maybe some light at the end of the tunnel with Saudi Arabia increasing oil production in response to global demand,” said De Haan.

More than 40 states are seeing gas prices higher than last year. Half of them are seeing up to double-digit increases.