U.S. crude oil prices leaped 2.9 percent to a three-week closing high of $48.66 today as refineries restarted after Harvey, while the national diesel average went up 15.3 cents a gallon to $2.758 and could go higher.
That’s $35.10 higher than diesel cost at this same time last year. Last week it was $2.605 a gallon and the week before that it was $2.596 a gallon.
All 10 of the Energy Information Administration’s reporting regions experienced an upswing in diesel prices, with the Lower Atlantic sector showing an increase of $19.70 cents a gallon.
According to CNBC, Hurricane Harvey disrupted about 20 to 25 percent of U.S. refining capacity and Hurricane Irma threatens to slash demand for gasoline and other fuel as it heads toward Florida.
However, one trucking stakeholder said some of the fuel shortage in areas of Texas such as Austin, which had very minimal flood damage, was caused by people panicking and hoarding fuel.
The increase in diesel costs has put two regions over the $3-a-gallon threshold — California, where it’s now $3.135 a gallon — and the West Coast, where it’s $3.044 a gallon.
For more details on diesel prices by EIA region click here.