Gasoline prices edged up in Oklahoma on Tuesday as uncertainty about Hurricane Isaac started affecting the refinery supply chain.
Prices in Oklahoma City rose about a nickel on average from Monday to Tuesday, said Chuck Mai with AAA Oklahoma. In Tulsa, gasoline rose about 12 cents.
A gallon of gasoline averaged $3.66 in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, according to AAA. That was up 9 cents from $3.57 a week ago. The statewide average was $3.66, while Tulsa recorded $3.70 per gallon.
“We can probably expect a few more increases of a dime or 15 cents as Isaac makes landfall,” Mai said.
Hurricane Isaac was expected to make landfall late Tuesday or early Wednesday morning as a Category 1 storm. The National Weather Service put its expected path north into Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri before turning eastward toward Illinois and Indiana by Sunday.
Mai said the storm caused about half a dozen coastal-area refineries in its path to shut down as a precaution. The federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, which monitors oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico, said more than 503 drilling platforms and 49 rigs had been evacuated by Tuesday morning. Producers shut in about 93 percent of oil and 67 percent of natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico.
Forecasters said the main threat from the hurricane could be heavy rain. Mai said additional refineries could be in the hurricane's path depending on where it makes landfall and where it travels inland.
“The threat is from flooding for some of those refineries,” he said. “It's supposed to be a real slow-moving storm and we don't know what to expect. But they've been taking precautions there and in the Gulf (of Mexico) with oil platforms.”