Oil production platforms, import terminals, pipelines, and refineries were impacted as Hurricane Katrina followed a path directly over production facilities in the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Factors slowing refinery production include the loss of electrical power, evacuated employees who have not been allowed to return, necessary repairs, and crude oil supply. Crude oil and petroleum product prices have spiked. Much higher wholesale prices will probably impact retail prices for weeks.
Records were broken again this week on a daily basis for both gasoline and diesel prices in the state and metros. Nebraska's retail gasoline price leaped 9 cents from last week to $2.74, which was 87 cents higher than the price at this time last year. Metro prices ranged from $2.65 in Columbus to $2.78 in Omaha. As of August 26, the Midwest gasoline stock level had dropped further below the normal range with 45.6 million barrels.
Nebraska's diesel average increased 5 cents from last week to $2.65 per gallon, which was 75 cents higher than the price at this time last year. Metro prices ranged from $2.61 in Columbus to $2.68 in Lincoln. On the supply side, the Midwest distillate fuel inventory level was above the normal range with 23.6 million barrels as of August 26.
An archive of this report and historical weekly prices are available.