TAMPA, Fla., (February 22, 2021) — Florida gas prices shot up last week, as arctic weather wreaked havoc on the Gulf Coast refinery region and caused a surge in fuel prices. Power outages knocked gasoline refineries in Texas and neighboring states offline and interfered with fuel shipments out of the area.
Much of Florida’s gasoline comes from refineries in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. So an interruption to the supply line there has a direct impact on prices here. However, Florida is not alone. This region is a major source of gasoline in the United States, accounting for more than 45% of total U.S. petroleum refining capacity. This storm reportedly impacted a little more than half of refinery capacity in the Gulf Coast region.
Although there is not currently a gasoline supply shortage, concerns about reductions in gasoline production caused fuel prices to climb. Crude oil prices rose nearly 3% last week, reaching $61.14 per barrel. Wednesday’s settlement was the highest since January 2020. Wholesale gasoline prices jumped 7% last week, reaching a level not seen since July 2019.
On average, Florida gas prices jumped 15 cents last week. Drivers are now paying an average price of $2.61 per gallon. That’s the highest daily gas price average since July 2019.
“This pump price hike is similar to what you’d expect if a hurricane struck the gulf coast region,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Just like the aftermath of a hurricane, workers are working to return to normal operations. Any reports of extended downtime or significant supply impacts could cause another round of rising prices.”
- Most expensive metro markets – West Palm Beach – Boca Raton ($2.71), Fort Lauderdale ($2.64), Ocala ($2.63)
- Least expensive metro markets – Panama City ($2.52), Crestview-Fort Walton Beach ($2.54), Pensacola ($2.57)
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