US gas prices fall another 6 cents as refinery output edges up

US gas prices fall another 6 cents as refinery output edges up
SHELL OIL via CNN Newsource
The Department of Energy says only one of the 10 Gulf Coast refineries shut down by Hurricane Harvey remains off-line.

Gasoline prices in the U.S. have fallen for the second consecutive week, with almost every state seeing declines as more refineries on the Gulf Coast recover from Hurricane Harvey.

The national average fell to $2.55, according to GasBuddy, down 6 cents from a week ago. And despite oil rising to more than $50 a barrel, gas prices will continue to fall, says Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.

“While oil prices have gained momentum in the last few weeks, it will not be enough to stymie the continued decline at gas pumps, which will bring the national average down another 5-10 cents in the week ahead,” DeHaan said.

According to the Department of Energy, nine refineries along the Gulf Coast are operating at reduced rates, up from six a week ago. Just one of the 10 refineries shut down by Harvey remains off-line.

States in the South and Southeast are still feeling the impact of Harvey and Hurricane Irma, which came ashore in the Florida Keys on Sept. 10, according to AAA. Per-gallon prices are at least 30 to 44 cents higher than a month ago in Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Texas.

The Great Lakes and Midwest states have seen the largest per-gallon price decreases in the last week, led by 12-cent declines in Indiana and Michigan.

Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson, said drivers will continue to see prices fall.

“Pump prices may not be dropping as fast as motorists would like,” she said, “but with the switchover to winter-blend gasoline, consumer demand beginning to slow and Gulf Coast refineries getting closer to normal operations, consumers can expect gas prices to continue to be less expensive through October.”