Crude Surges, Gasoline Prices to Escalate in Katrina's Wake

AUGUST 29, 2005 - Posted at 11:23 a.m. CDT

WASHINGTON - Crude oil prices, as well as wholesale gasoline prices, are on the rise as the markets react to Hurricane Katrina's trek through the Gulf of Mexico.

As result, gasoline prices are poised to jump to new highs this week as the hurricane barreled toward the heart of U.S. oil production and refining operations.

Light sweet crude for October delivery surged to as high as $70.80 per barrel in electronic overnight trading.

It was trading up more than $2 to $68.80 in New York.

The Bush administration is expected to announce later today whether it will tap the nation's emergency stockpile of crude.

Last year, President Bush authorized loans from the reserve to help refiners get the crude they needed after Hurricane Ivan cut into output.  That decision takes place with gasoline prices already rising to new record highs.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)