SOURCE: AAA Texas

September 12, 2008 16:42 ET

AAA Texas: Gas Prices Increase Moderately in Anticipation of Hurricane Ike; However, Most Stations Are Pricing Gas Fairly and Not Gouging Customers

IRVING, TX--(Marketwire - September 12, 2008) - As Hurricane Ike moves closer to landfall along the Texas Gulf Coast, gasoline prices in the affected areas have started increasing, but so far, most stations are handling the situation in a professional and responsible manner. The average price for regular in Houston increased more than four cents overnight from $3.455 to $3.496. Gas increased in Galveston/Texas City from $3.487 to $3.489. Motorists in Corpus Christi are now paying $3.582 compared to $3.587 on Thursday.

The average price for a gallon statewide increased to $3.567 from $3.576.

"There have been reports of some stations trying to take advantage of motorists during these difficult times and increase prices by more than 25 cents a gallon overnight. But we're finding these facilities are in the minority. Also, the fuelgaugereport.com/AAA survey each day checks the prices of more than 100,000 gas stations nationwide and more than 8000 thousand in Texas. So, even while there are some stations that have hiked prices, the survey is so large, it explains why prices in the Houston market have gone up only four cents and in the other coastal cities the increase has been much less," says AAA Texas Corporation Communications and Community Relations Manager Dan Ronan.

"There are two big issues AAA is watching closely: The supply of gasoline and how well our refineries in south Texas, which produce nearly 25% of the country's domestic oil production, come through the storm. Clearly there is a sufficient supply of crude oil and prices on the various markets continue to reflect that as the price of a barrel of oil is trading Friday at below $102.00 a barrel, down from the all-time high of $147.17 on July 17th. However, there needs to be sufficient refining capability to make that oil into gas and it may be several days and well into next week before we know the condition of those refineries. We're just now on Friday, into the second inning of a nine-inning game," said Ronan.

To help ease the supply concerns, AAA Texas encourages all Texas motorists to conserve where possible. Combines errands when possible and drive moderately.

AAA Texas is urging people who have been ordered by their local officials to heed their warnings and take proper precautions to protect their lives and property. Thursday, AAA Texas released to the media a list of items evacuees should take with them as they prepare to move inland. AAA also released information about what consumers should do if they feel gasoline stations they've purchased fuel from are "price gouging." These press releases can be found on our website at AAA.com.

Members of the Texas Media please note: Members of the AAA Texas Government and Public Affairs team will be available all weekend to answer your questions and assist the public in any way we can; whether it's evacuation tips, gas prices or fuel availability in south Texas or along possible evacuation routes. Sunday night, Dan Ronan will be traveling to Houston to assist members of the media and the AAA team as we deal with developing story. AAA Texas will make every attempt this weekend to regularly update this press release and additional information can be obtained at fuelgaugereport.com.

That website is updated every 24 hours with its nationwide gasoline survey.

          Sept 12 Sept 11  Difference  One yr   Difference    Record High
                                        ago                   Date/Price

State       3.546   3.537   +0.009     2.685      +0.861   07/17/08   3.985
Amarillo    3.539   3.551   -0.012     2.918      +0.621   07/16/08   3.983
Austin-San
 Marcos     3.608   3.604   +0.004     2.726      +0.882   07/17/08   3.975
Beaumont    3.632   3.633   -0.001     2.685      +0.947   07/16/08   4.001
Corpus
 Christi    3.582   3.587   -0.005     2.656      +0.926   07/15/08   3.960
Dallas      3.482   3.476   +0.006     2.646      +0.836   07/16/08   3.983
El Paso     3.558   3.565   -0.007     2.885      +0.637   07/17/08   3.967
Ft. Worth   3.482   3.470   +0.012     2.645      +0.837   07/16/08   3.975
Galveston   3.489   3.487   +0.002     2.631      +0.858   07/14/08   3.968
Houston     3.496   3.455   +0.041     2.602      +0.894   07/17/08   3.960
San Antonio 3.553   3.555   -0.002     2.672      +0.881   07/16/08   3.957
Texarkana
 (TX Only)  3.578   3.566   +0.012     2.710      +0.868   07/16/08   3.981

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