Saudi attack could raise gas prices in the Coastal Empire

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV)- the attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil field is having a local impact at the pump.

According to the Energy Information Administration gas has jumped 10 cents a gallon.

Saturday’s attack took out 5 percent of the global oil supply. One local expert predicts if the US government doesn’t get involved soon, Savannahnians could start seeing a 20 to 30 cent increase at the pump.

“I expect to see higher prices at the pump just by the rough estimates we’ve seen thus far,” said Richard McGrath, Professor of Economics at Georgia Southern.

Mcgrath said it’s hard to say how long this price spike could last, but it’s definitely affecting how oil is moving throughout the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry.

“Gasoline, our sources of diesel, are varied, we get some from pipelines over land that are then delivered by truck,” said McGrath. “We also have some from an ocean terminal in Savannah, because oil is so transportable its going to push oil supplies in different directions all over the place.”

Experts like McGrath predict pump prices all around the country will start inching higher until Saudi Arabia recovers from the attack.

“I would expect the effect to be somewhere around 25 cents a gallon and then for that effect to fade out as Saudi Arabia gets their production back online,” said McGrath.

If that takes too long President Donald Trump could choose to tap into the 645-million barrels of emergency oil reserves currently residing along the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico.

“But, if this is expected to be very temporary, the firms can handle these adjustments without big involvement from the government,” said McGrath.

The reserve has about 143 days of imported oil protection, but US Energy Secretary Rick Perry, said it’s still too early to make that call.

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