PORTLAND, Maine – The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline fell again in the past week, but an analyst with price tracking website GasBuddy warned that a refinery shutdown in Delaware could cause an unexpected spike in prices in weeks to come.
The average per-gallon price for regular gas landed at $2.50 in Maine as of Sunday, down 5.7 cents from the previous week. The drop mirrored a 7.1-cent decline in the national average price, which hit $2.60 on Sunday.
For Maine, the price remains about $1 lower than a year ago and 23.2 cents lower than one month ago.
Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy, said the Northeast could see an unexpected rise in gas prices in the coming weeks.
“Motorists in the Northeast should now be on alert after a major fire struck a PBF refinery in Delaware City on Friday,” DeHaan said in a news release. “The market hasn’t really had a chance to react, but it could turn ugly at the pump in the days ahead for motorists in that region.”
A source familiar with plant operations told Reuters the plant is expected to shut down for at least a month. The 182,200 barrel-per-day refinery accounts for 14 percent of the East Coast’s total refining capacity, the news service reported.
The price of crude oil — the major cost component for gasoline — continued to fall in the past week, which DeHaan said foretold of continued seasonal declines in pump prices through the fall.
“As we enter the final stretch of the summer driving season, autumn still looks to bring a big drop in gasoline prices,” DeHaan said.
This article was written by Darren Fishell from Bangor Daily News, Maine and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.