SOURCE: AAA Texas

September 15, 2008 09:27 ET

AAA Texas: Gas Prices Continue Steady Upward Trend in Aftermath of Hurricane Ike

IRVING, TX--(Marketwire - September 15, 2008) - Gasoline prices again nationwide and in Texas increased overnight as a direct result of Hurricane Ike. Nationally, a gallon of gas now costs $3.842. Sunday, the average was $3.795. Saturday, it was $3.735 and on Friday, before Ike reached land it was $3.675.

Monday, the average price of a gallon of gas in Texas is $3.684. Sunday, the price was $3.645. Saturday, motorists in Texas were paying $3.600 and on Friday, before the storm hit it was $3.546.

Here's a breakdown of the Texas markets and the increases/decreases in those cities.

Amarillo              Fri $3.539 Sat $3.588 Up  4.9 cents
                      Sun $3.636 Up 4.8 cents  Mon $3.666 Up 3.0 cents

Austin-San Marcos     Fri $3.608  Sat $3.628 Up  2 cents
                      Sun $3.641  Up 1.3 cents  Mon $3.654 Up 1.4 cents

Beaumont-Port-Arthur  Fri $3.632  Sat $3.654 Up  2.2 cents
                      Sun $3.618  Down 3.6 cents  Mon $3.607 Down 1.1 cents

Corpus Christi        Fri $3.582  Sat $3.593 Up  1.1 cents
                      Sun $3.606  Up 1.3 cents  Mon $3.609 Up 0.3 cents

Dallas                Fri $3.482  Sat $3.562 Up  8.0 cents
                      Sun $3.627  Up 6.5 cents  Mon $3.676 Up 3.9 cents

El Paso               Fri $3.558  Sat $3.573 Up  1.5 cents
                      Sun $3.590  Up 1.7 cents  Mon $3.629 Up 3.9 cents

Fort Worth/Arlington  Fri $3.482  Sat $3.567 Up  8.5 cents
                      Sun $3.641  Up 7.4 cents  Mon $3.687 Up 4.6 cents

Galveston-Texas City  Fri $3.489  Sat $3,525 Up  3.6 cents
                      Sun $3.581  Up 5.6 cents  Mon $3.602 Up 2.1 cents

Houston               Fri $3.496  Sat $3.544 Up  4.8 cents
                      Sun $3.570  Up 2.6 cents  Mon $3.584 Up 1.4 cents

San Antonio           Fri $3.553  Sat $3.587 Up  3.4 cents
                      Sun $3.610  Up 2.3 cents  Mon $3.614 Up 1.4 cents

Texarkana             Fri $3.578  Sat $3.752 Up 17.4 cents
                      Sun $3.791  Up 3.9 cents  Mon $3.813 Up 2.2 cents

The Texas/Louisiana Gulf Coast is home to more than 20% of the U.S. refining capability. "We're facing some real challenges in the next couple of days and weeks with regards to gasoline supplies, however two things are happening in the market that look encouraging. Officials inspecting the major oil refineries along the Gulf Coast say it appears those facilities sustained less damage than what was earlier feared. Getting the power back on will be a major challenge, but if the damage is minimal, that will make the process easier. Also, while gasoline supplies are at their lowest level since November 2000, crude oil prices continue to fall. Monday the opening price for a barrel of crude is $97.00, down from its all time high of $147.17 in mid-July," said AAA Texas Media Relations and Community Affairs Manager Dan Ronan.

Each night AAA and its partner, http://www.fuelgaugereport.com, electronically survey more than 100,000 stations nationwide and more than 8,000 in Texas. We continue to hear of some stations that have increased their prices higher than the averages, but because our survey is so large those facilities are not distorting the figures and we feel these numbers today are a true indication of the price of gasoline.

"There are several things motorists can do to make sure they have gasoline but at the same time don't contribute to causing spot shortages. Keep a close watch on the amount of fuel in your tank, but resist the temptation to top off every time you pass an open gas station, putting in only a small amount of fuel. Numerous small transactions can cause more of a supply problem than one or two cars filling up from nearly empty. Also, some people are buying gasoline cans, filling them and then leaving them in the trunk. This is a potentially very dangerous situation," says Ronan.

In general, most service station owners are handling this difficult fuel supply situation with a great deal of responsibility and while there are reports of price gouging, the situation is today manageable. However, if you feel you've been the victim of gasoline price gouging, the Attorney General's office is enforcing those laws and there are very specific requirements as to what is and is not gouging. The best advice AAA Texas can give motorists is to save your receipts and after the storm passes then contact Attorney General Greg Abbott's office.

If you have insurance through AAA Texas and have a claim, please call 1-800-672-5246. Claims Adjusters are standing by to take your calls and questions

MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA: AAA TEXAS IS CLOSELY FOLLOWING THE OVERNIGHT INCREASES IN GASOLINE PRICES AS A RESULT OF HURRICANE IKE. SPOKESMAN DAN RONAN IS HEADING TO HOUSTON ON MONDAY TO JOIN OTHER MEMBERS OF THE AAA TEXAS TEAM.

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