SAN ANTONIO – The roads are thawed, but the price to drive them is almost chilling. At some gas stations around San Antonio, the price for a gallon has hit the $2.50 mark.
“I noticed it jumped nearly 25 cents,” said Orlando De Jesus, who was filling up his pickup’s tank.
The price of a gallon surged 18 cents locally in just the past week, and is up 32 cents a gallon in one month.
It was already costing Vincent Cordero $80 to fill up his truck.
“It’s going to have an impact,” he said. “I have three vehicles.”
The wicked winter storm forced about a dozen refineries to shut down - refineries that have 20% of the total U.S. production capacity, according to Patrick De Haan, chief analyst at gasbuddy.com.
“So, we’re not talking some refinery here that’s maybe insignificant,” he said. “We’re talking shutdowns that rival hurricane season.”
The average price locally was $2.28 a gallon on Tuesday. And, though DeHaan said the steep climb due to the storm is over, prices could creep up even more this week.
“You may see another five, maybe as much as 10-cent increase,” he said.
Next week, drivers may see pump prices back off, but that won’t last long. Come mid-March, refineries have to start producing more expensive summer formulas. That pushes prices up for the busier driving season and puts the squeeze on drivers’ wallets.