Good news: Gas prices continued to fall; bad news: that may change soon
Image via Damian Pardo.

Oil refinery attacks in Saudi Arabia have shaken oil futures pricing

Gasoline prices trickled downward again last week but that may be about to change, AAA warned Monday.

The attacks over the weekend on Saudi Arabia’s two biggest oil refineries have shaken the world’s pricing of gasoline futures, sending them upward about 11 percent on Sunday. President Donald Trump responded by opening access to America’s emergency reserves, but the net result still may send gas prices upward, AAA forecast.

Crude oil and gasoline futures prices opened with a bang Sunday night, AAA declared in a news release Monday morning. The United Sates benchmark — West Texas Intermediate — jumped 11 percent or a total of more than $6 for a barrel of oil. Gasoline futures also rose 11 percent or about 17 cents per gallon.

“This is a fluid situation which has quickly ignited, but could also flame out — depending on how the market responds over the next couple of days,” Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA — The Auto Club Group, stated in the release. “If oil prices hold at current levels, drivers could see gas prices begin to rise anywhere from five to 20 cents by the end of the week.”

Overall, Florida drivers currently are paying an average price of $2.40 per gallon, AAA reported. That’s down about three cents from last week, and about 34 cents from this time last year.

The cheapest gas in Florida was found in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater market, at an average price of $2.33 a gallon. Gas cost an average of $2.36 a gallon in Pensacola and Orlando.

The most expensive gas was found in the Panama City market, averaging $2.53 per gallon. The West Palm Beach-Boca Raton market averaged $2.51, and Tallahassee, $2.48.

Miami drivers are paying just under $2.48 a gallon; Fort Lauderdale drivers, $2.41; Jacksonville, $2.35; Gainesville, $2.44; and Naples, $2.42.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]

One comment

  • Lisa S.

    September 16, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    “America’s largest oil refinery is now fully owned by Saudi Arabia.

    Saudi Aramco, the kingdom’s state-owned oil behemoth, took 100% control of the sprawling Port Arthur refinery in Texas on Monday, completing a deal that was first announced last year.

    Port Arthur is considered the crown jewel of the US refinery system. The Gulf Coast facility can process 600,000 barrels of oil per day, making it the largest refinery in North America.

    Aramco previously owned 50% of Port Arthur through a joint venture co-owned with Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) called Motiva Enterprises.

    But the two oil giants had a rocky relationship and reached a deal in March 2016 to separate their assets. Shell put out a statement on Monday confirming the ‘completion’ of that break-up.

    In addition to Port Arthur, Aramco is acquiring full ownership of 24 distribution terminals. Aramco also gets the exclusive right to sell Shell-branded gasoline and diesel in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, the eastern half of Texas and the majority of Florida.”

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