LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - South Plains drivers are feeling the pain at the pump after a drone attack on a massive oil refinery in Saudi Arabia.
Right now, Saudi Arabia is claiming the drones and missiles were unmistakably Iranian.
Saudi Arabia is the second largest producer of refined fuels. It produces 12 percent of the total world supply, half of which was knocked out by these attacks - a shock to the global oil supply that we are feeling here in West Texas.
On Friday, the average price of gas in Lubbock was $2.20. On Wednesday, the average price is $2.30.
Michael Noel, an associate professor of economics at Texas Tech University, said the only way we are going to see prices go back down is if Saudi Arabia gets those refineries back up and running.
“Right now, crude oil is about five dollars higher than it was before all this happened, so that’s about a 12 to 15 cent increase in the price of gasoline,” Noel said.
This means Lubbock has seen most of the increase that it is going to experience as a result of Friday’s attack.
“They say they’re going to do so in a couple of weeks, which is what’s limited the increase in oil prices and in gas prices already. If they do that, then in a few weeks everything would be back to normal,” Noel said.
Noel said Saudi Arabia has promised to be online as normal again soon. Noel said they’re making this promise to make sure American and other producers don’t start ramping up production to take their place.
“If this turns into a full-blown war and there are more attacks and there are more shortages, as bad as that is for a great deal of reasons, then some other people will start to fill in that supply and then you would start getting more production here in the U.S.,” Noel said.
Noel said terrorist attacks are one thing, but it is not uncommon for refineries to go down for maintenance or other issues.
Noel said to be sure you shop around for gasoline, because although the average price increase is 10 cents, some stations have raised their price by less and some by more.
He also said if your car is filled up, try to hold off and fill up again when the price goes back down.