Hurricane Ian is expected to come ashore this week on the Gulf Coast of Florida as an intense hurricane.
AAA noted that the hurricane could have a small impact on gas prices in the coming days. Generally reducing supply causes prices to increase. With several oil platforms closing, there could be a small drop in supply.
“Slack demand and lower oil prices should take some pressure off rising gas prices,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “But Hurricane Ian could cause problems, depending on the storm’s track, by disrupting oil production in the Gulf of Mexico and impacting large coastal refineries.”
According to federal statistics, Florida itself is not a major oil-producing state, averaging just 4,000 barrels per day, compared to Texas which produces 4.7 million barrels a day. But the Gulf of Mexico produces 1.7 million barrels a day of crude oil, accounting for nearly 15 percent of U.S. production.
In response to the hurricane, BP announced it is evacuating personnel from its Na Kika and Thunder Horse platforms. Chevron said it’s closing its Petronius and Blind Faith platforms during the storm.
The Thunder Horse platform was significantly damaged during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Gas prices have started to go back up after over three months of declines. The nationwide average for a gallon of gas is $3.74 on Tuesday, up 7 cents from a week ago, according to AAA.