On the week, the national gas price average held steady at $2.56, but motorists can expect some volatility at the pump in the coming days and weeks. Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia experienced drone attacks on two major oil facilities – including the world’s largest, Abqaiq. The attacks have taken 5.7 million (crude) barrels per day off the market, accounting for about 6% of the global supply.
Prior to the attacks, global crude oil supply was very healthy, in fact sitting on a global glut of stocks. Regardless, initial market reaction to the attacks spiked crude oil prices. At the start of the work week, crude oil (West Texas Intermediate, WTI) is trading for $5/bbl more than on Friday’s closing, up to $61/bbl – a price point for crude not seen since May.
“Americans can expect local pump prices to start to increase this week. The jump could end up being as much as a quarter per gallon throughout this month,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Whether this is a short or long term trend will be determined by the price of crude oil prices and how quickly the facilities in Saudi Arabia can recover and get back online.”
According to AAA, Tennessee saw a 5 cent average jump overnight from Monday to Tuesday. In Manchester, gas was hovering around $2.31 a gallon for regular unleaded as of midday Tuesday.