Gas prices may continue to decline, despite Sandy

Northeastern refineries shut down because of the hurricane, but Sandy also shut down traffic across the region, saving far more gas than those refineries produce.

Prices at the pump have been in decline for 18 consecutive days, prompting AAA to put out a report predicting gas prices would continue to decline through the election and into the end of the year "barring any unforeseen forces."

Then of course came Hurricane Sandy, which headed straight for several large oil refineries along the Delaware River.

Beth Evans is an editorial director at the American oil news site, Platts. She says, "production coming out of those refineries will halt."

The shutdown of those facilities could mean a slight increase in gas prices for the region. But the Northeast actually consumes far more oil than it produces: About eight and a half million barrels a day.

"So the expectation is that the impact on demand likely will outweigh the impact on supply," says Avery Ash. He writes AAA's Fuel Gauge Report. But Ash points out, "Only as long as there is a smooth restart to production in the Northeast. "

About the author

David Weinberg is a general assignment reporter at Marketplace.

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