Extreme cold fuels huge jump at the pump

Extreme cold fuels huge jump at the pump
(Source: Pablo)

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Blame Mother Nature and last week’s extremely cold weather for driving up gas prices.

According to GasBuddy.com’s weekly survey of 1,826 stations in Arkansas, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded rose 9.5 cents to $2.34.

That’s 18.7 cents a gallon more than motorists paid a month ago.

The national average rose 10.4 cents a gallon in the last week to $2.63.

Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for Gas Buddy, said last week’s extreme cold shut down millions of barrels per day in refinery capacity.

“The jump in price was the result of a dozen or so refineries, primarily in Texas, that were forced to shut down as the frigid temperatures threatened to wreak havoc on their exposed equipment,” he said. “With the cold weather behind us, price increases should begin to slow later this week or next week.”

Once refineries get back online, De Haan said gas prices should start to move back down in the next couple of weeks.

“However, as we near spring weather, we’ll likely see another longer term rise in prices begin as refineries start to transition to summer gasoline,” he said. “So, motorists shouldn’t jump for joy just yet.”

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