Saudi Drone Strike Will Push Gas Prices Higher -- but Maybe Not for Long

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Saudi Drone Strike Will Push Gas Prices Higher -- but Maybe Not for Long

Saudi and international reserves, switch to winter blend may buffer impact

(CHICAGO, Ill.) - The attack on a Saudi oilfield will push gas prices higher, but not as much as you might think.

A weekend drone strike on a Saudi oilfield disrupted five-million barrels of production capacity. Patrick DeHaan with gasbuddy.com says you'll feel it at the pump -- but he says the price hike he expects in the next day or two will simply be part of the regular spike-and-plunge cycle of gas prices.

The drone attack is likely to push prices higher into October before they decline again, but DeHaan doesn't expect prices to rise more than a quarter a gallon -- that wouldn't even be a high for the year. He says both the U.S. and the Saudis have oil reserves to cover the gap while Saudi Arabia makes repairs. And DeHaan says the timing of the attack was consumer-friendly. It comes as refiners are making the annual switch to the cheaper winter blend of gasoline., and at a time when prices would be drifting downward because of lower winter demand.

DeHaan cautions the situation is still fluid, and price hikes could last longer if Saudi oil company Aramco can't complete repairs in a week or so. If the repairs are quick, though, he says prices should start falling again next month, and be back at current levels by Thanksgiving.

Indiana gas prices are currently averaging $2.75 a gallon.

(Photo: bizoo-n/Thinkstock)

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