For the most part, there has been a minimal affect on the gas prices by the oil spill. Gas prices have gone up 15 cents since the end of April, but it is said that that is due to seasonal fluctuation not the oil spill. The way this would send prices up is if offshore drilling is made more expensive due to stricter regulations.
The short answer is yes, it will cause gas prices to rise, however gas prices were already expected to go up so how much is hard to say. Only two oil platforms were actually knocked out, which is a tiny part of the US oil refining industry. The spill may also slow down refining of oil in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, which is about 19% of all refining in the US, cutting down on the total supply of oil available.
This is difficult to measure, because gas consumption has gone down this year as people are being tighter with their budgets and are not traveling as far.
If the estimated total volume from the spill is correct at about 5 million barrels, that equates to about 6 hours of consumption by the United States – not even one full day. Spread that out over the 3-4 months the spill was happening, and it amounts to about 50,000 barrels a day. That is an incredibly trivial part of the 19,300,000 barrels we burn up every single day.
There could be impacts on the price related to perceptions of rules and regulations that may result from the spill, but the spill itself? No impact on prices because of no significant impact on supply.
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