OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Hurricane Ian is being closely monitored – not only for how it will affect the people and businesses on the Gulf Coast, but also for how it could impact gas prices.

There’s potential that the current uptick in prices Oklahomans are seeing at the pump could increase further, depending on where Ian hits.

Thankfully, Oklahoma gas prices have dipped from the record high on June 15, 2022, when it averaged $4.66 a gallon, according to AAA.

But over the last week, prices are up 12 cents.

On Monday, the average price is $3.47 a gallon – compared to $3.35 a week ago. 

“I noticed they’d been getting higher,” said customer Evan Myers at the OnCue gas station at 10800 N. May Ave. “They’ve definitely started to go up a little bit.”

AAA reports that refinery issues are causing the uptick, ranging from planned maintenance to a fire.

“This time of year, we typically see some maintenance issues at refineries which can take them offline temporarily and it will cause some temporary upticks in prices,” said Shawn Steward, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Kansas/AAA South Dakota. “Certainly, if a large number of those, or even a few of those refineries are out of service for a while, if they’re damaged, that can limit supply and temporarily rise prices at the pumps.”

All eyes are also on Hurricane Ian and its potential impact on large coastal refineries as it enters the Gulf of Mexico, but for now, forecasters say it’s targeting Florida.

“The good thing is that there are no refineries in Florida,” Steward said. “The vast number of refineries in the Gulf are more to the west in Louisiana and Texas and so we don’t see any kind of impact to those refining operations that will cause any kind of nationwide or local impact.”

AAA told KFOR gas customers should stay prepared for potential price fluctuations in the coming months as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues to influence global oil markets.