9-12-05 - Damage to Gulf Coast oil production by Hurricane Katrina pushed retail gas prices to historic highs in the past two weeks, with self-serve regular averaging $3 a gallon for the first time ever, a nationwide survey found.
The weighted average price for all three grades surged more than 38 cents to nearly $3.04 a gallon between Aug. 26 and Sept. 9, said Trilby Lundberg, who publishes the semimonthly Lundberg Survey of 7,000 gas stations around the country.
Self-serve regular averaged $3.01 a gallon nationwide, according to the survey. Midgrade was pegged at about $3.11, while premium-grade was at nearly $3.21.
Lundberg said the hurricane had cut 11 percent of the nation's gasoline production capacity by decimating refineries and damaging pipelines.
On Saturday, more than 120 Gulf of Mexico oil and gas platforms were still shut down and nearly 60 percent of the Gulf of Mexico's normal daily oil production remained blocked from the market because of evacuations due to Hurricane Katrina, the federal Minerals Management Service said.