Oil production in the Gulf of Mexico came to a halt Friday as Tropical Storm Isaac neared oil platforms. While it's still to early to tell how long Isaac will delay Gulf oil production, motorists have already seen a rise in pump prices. Gas prices increased about 12 cents per gallon here in Murfreesboro, with many discounters selling regular gas in the $3.44 per gallon range.
The precautionary shutdowns alone are said to have caused a loss of 2 to 3 million barrels in Gulf oil production. Retail gas prices in Florida jumped 9 cents from last week and it's uncertain how much higher prices will increase, if at all, once Isaac dissipates. A barrel of oil settled Friday at $96.15 on the New York Mercantile Exchange — 14 cents more than the week prior.
"Only after Isaac passes through the Gulf, will experts be able to assess any damages and determine when oil production can resume," said Jessica Brady, AAA spokeswoman, The Auto Club Group. "Whether Gulf oil production resumes today or later this week, motorists are likely to see gas prices increase into the Labor Day holiday."
The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.75, a 3-cent increase from a week ago today. Florida's average for regular is also $3.75, however the increase is 9 cents more than last week. Georgia's average of $3.70 and Tennessee’s average of $3.56 both increased 6 cents from last week, respectively. It's still lower in the 'Boro with many outlets offering $3.44 gas.