Market analysts believe that former Hurricane Michael, now downgraded to a tropical storm, has not affected critical Gulf Coast refineries or pipelines. However, there is concern that heavy rain and high winds may cause power outages to the Colonial Pipeline which could lead to delivery disruptions to local gas stations in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.
Hurricane Michael has shut down 40 percent of US oil production in the Gulf of Mexico, but it won't have an impact on retail gasoline prices in the Houston area.
Triple AAA's Joshua Zuber said regionally in the Florida, Alabama and Mississippi area, residents will see a temporary spike in gas prices because of Hurricane Michael.
He said it’s geo-political factors that are impacting gas prices.
“What could and what has already impacted our gasoline prices—the possible Iranian sanctions taking effect next month. That’s targeting specifically the energy sector of Iran, their crude oil exports,” said Zuber. “Plus, Venezuela their economy faltering, so that’s really calling into question their ability to keep producing crude oil and get that into the global oil supply market.”
He said we're seeing summertime-like prices, despite having the winter blend gas and dropping post-Labor Day travel.
Gas prices are up two cents in Texas from last week and Houstonians are paying 29-cents more at the pump than we were at this time last year...and will continue to climb throughout the weekend.