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Isaac Contributing To Pain At The Pump

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – As a rule, gasoline prices typically begin to fall after Labor Day, but Isaac may put a kink in that.

Roughly one-quarter of the country’s oil is produced in the Gulf of Mexico. Isaac has interrupted production, resulting in decreased gasoline supply.

Texas-based energy analyst Andy Lipow expects prices at the pump to climb noticeably, and then not recede instantly. “It takes several weeks because, after the storm passes, it’s gonna take a good 10 to 14 days for refineries to get and return to their full operation.”

As it stands, Isaac has interrupted 80 percent of oil production both on land and underwater. “Although 80 percent of the offshore oil production has been shut-in, a bigger concern is that the fact that the refineries, nearly 13 percent of our capacity in the New Orleans area, is likely to be shut down, which impacts the supply of gasoline and diesel fuel to the consumer,” Lipow said.

Also effecting supply is a weekend fire at Venezuela’s biggest oil refinery. Lipow said, “As a result, they have come into the market to purchase gasoline for their own supplies which are competing with U.S. requirements.”

Lipow expects prices at the pump to climb by as much as 10 cents a gallon and hover there until mid-September. CBS 11 News drove around the Metroplex on Wednesday morning, shortly after Isaac made landfall, and found per gallon prices as high as $4.09 near DFW International Airport.

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