Indiana News

Analyst: Tropical Storm Karen Shouldn't Affect Gas Prices in Indiana

10/4/2013

Oil production in the Gulf of Mexico is being partially shut down due to Tropical Storm Karen, but one analyst says that should not affect the recent drop in gas prices in Central Indiana.

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The price of gas has dropped below three-dollars a gallon in some parts of the state.  Patrick DeHaan with GasBuddy.com says a blip in Gulf production shouldn't cause the price to go up.  "By and large, we are padded pretty well.  Oil inventories remain adequate.  Gas inventories remain lush - 12-percent higher than they were last year."

The strength of the storm, or lack thereof, also means it is less likely to affect how much we pay for gas.  "It's just a tropical storm. These evacuations are precautionary.  This happens 90-percent of the time that there is a developing storm in the Gulf," said DeHaan.  It also helps that the storm is hitting now rather than August or September.  "We are in the Fall driving season, which means that demand for gasoline goes down.  That means there is less of an impact when these things happen."

The federal government shutdown is not affecting gas prices yet, but if the shutdown drags on, DeHaan says it may actually drive gas prices lower.  "If the economy enters into a recession if the shutdown lingers several weeks, that would put even more downward pressure on oil prices.  We consume a lot less oil when the economy isn't doing so well.

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