Drivers can expect to see a rise in gas prices after coordinated drone attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia disrupted about half of the kingdom's production capacity over the weekend, AAA reports.
“Americans can expect local pump prices to start to increase this week. The jump could end up being as much as a quarter per gallon throughout this month,” said AAA spokesperson Jeanette Casselano. “Whether this is a short or long term trend will be determined by the price of crude oil prices and how quickly the facilities in Saudi Arabia can recover and get back online.”
Drivers in South and Southeast states are seeing some changes in pump prices, though it's not too extreme, AAA said. Oklahoma and Louisiana's gas prices rose 3 cents per gallon when compared to last week, and Texas continues to be one of the least expensive states for gasoline, averaging $2.26 per gallon. But beware — prices in those South and Southeastern states are expected to rise.
"Falling stocks paired with a likely increase in crude oil prices will likely lead to more expensive gas prices for the region," AAA said.
States in the Great Lakes region and the central U.S. saw both increases and decreases in gas prices when compared to last week. The highest increase was in Ohio, which saw a 13-cent increase per gallon. Kansas saw an increase of 2 cents per gallon and Missouri, Indiana and Kentucky all saw prices increase of 1 cent. Nebraska's gas prices also rose but just by a couple of pennies.
Michigan's gas prices fell by about 9 cents.
However, the Saudi oil attack could impact these trends.
"Regional refinery utilization remains strong at 100%, which should ultimately lead to cheaper gas prices for the region," AAA said in a press release. "However, any major jumps in crude oil prices may reverse this trend and lead to more expensive gas prices nationally and in the region."
In the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, most gas prices remained stable or became cheaper when compared to last week. Maryland's gas prices only increased by 3 cents and Tennessee's went up by 2 cents. New York continues to have the highest average gas price in the region at $2.72 per gallon.
But this region can also expect to see fluctuations in the week ahead.
States in the Rockies region mostly saw decreases in gas prices, with Colorado being the exception, which saw a 3-cent increase per gallon. Idaho and Montana's gas prices both decreased by 1 cent.
These states can expect to see increasing gas prices, however.
According to AAA, "regional refinery utilization fell from 102% down to 94% signaling that stocks are positioned to further decrease and likely push regional gas prices more expensive."
States on the West Coast, who already have the highest pump prices in the nation on average, are the ones most likely feel the effects of the Saudi oil attack, Reuters reports. About 47% of the crude oil Saudi Arabia sends to the U.S. goes to the West Coast, poising the region for the biggest increase in gas prices following the attacks in Saudi Arabia.
California, averaging $3.63 per gallon, is one of the most expensive states for gas on the West Coast. Nevada and Arizona also rank high, averaging $3.10 and $2.83 per gallon, respectively.
All estimates provided by AAA are based on prices per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline.