The U.S. saw the largest weekly gasoline price increase in two years last week due to a surge in crude prices in the aftermath of drone attacks on Saudi Arabia, according to a statement by the country's Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday.
"As of Monday, September 23, 2019, the U.S. average retail gasoline price increased by more than $0.10 per gallon (3.78 liters) from the previous Monday," the EIA said.
"This weekly increase was the largest since early September 2017, when the national average gasoline price rose $0.28 per gallon in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey," it added.
When Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 storm, hit the U.S.' Gulf coast in September 2017, it temporarily knocked out 2.2 million barrels per day (mbpd) of refining capacity on the region where the U.S.' major refineries are located.
When Harvey made landfall on the night of Aug. 25, 2017, the price of the international benchmark Brent crude jumped 3.8% on that day, official market data showed.
However, the daily increase in Brent price was much higher after two drones attacked Saudi Aramco's two key facilities on Sept. 14, 2019 knocking out 5.7 mbpd of output.
On Sept. 16, the first trading day after the attacks, Brent crude soared 14.6%, or by more than $8 per barrel, official data showed
"Gasoline prices in the U.S. tend to follow price movements of the global crude oil benchmark Brent," the EIA said, adding "Monday’s change was the largest single-day increase in Brent crude oil prices in the past decade."
For the week ending Sept. 23, 2019, regional gasoline price in the U.S. changed the most in the Midwest region, where prices jumped by nearly $0.13 per gallon, according to the EIA.
The impact of the sudden increase in Brent on U.S. gasoline prices became most evident in the U.S.' Gulf Coast, a region which typically has the lowest average gasoline price in the country, yet it saw a gasoline price increase of $0.12 per gallon, according to the EIA.
By Ovunc Kutlu