TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Crude oil prices skyrocketed on Monday morning after multiple drone attacks on two Saudi Arabian oil facilities last weekend.
The drone attacks knocked out half the kingdom’s oil capacity and nearly six percent of what the world consumes every day.
Despite a downward trend in gas prices for the last nine weeks and having the least expensive gas on average in Florida, experts and analysts say the Tampa Bay area could feel the effects following the drop in oil production.
Gas prices in Florida were, on average, $2.40 per gallon on Monday. In Tampa Bay, prices averaged $2.32 per gallon – 6 cents less than last week.
However, Tampa residents may have seen a jump in prices at the pump starting Tuesday morning.
GasBuddy reported gas prices had risen to $2.59 per gallon in various places across the Sunshine State.
“This is a fluid situation which has quickly ignited, but could also flame out – depending on how the market responds over the next couple of days,” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said. “If oil prices hold at current levels, drivers could see gas prices begin to rise anywhere from 5 to 20 cents by the end of the week.”
By Tuesday afternoon, reports of restoration to the Saudia Arabian facilities trickled down through various news outlets, but experts say that doesn’t mean prices will instantly return to what they were.
“There may be a minor impact beginning mid-week and continuing until Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company, Aramco, is able to restore all production,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “Even after oil production levels return to normal, there is an undeniable factor that will now forever impact oil prices – and that is that Saudi Arabia’s reliability and stability is no longer guaranteed.”
“This missile strike is evidence that perhaps one of the world’s most stable oil producers may no longer be seen as stable as they were prior to this event,” he added. “While the situation may change with Saudi Arabia, motorists are now able to fill up with cheaper winter gasoline and demand continues to seasonally weaken, perhaps softening the blow and impact of the attacks on gas prices.”