Gustav, an additional threat to the US economy


The hurricane threatens oil facilities in the Gulf of Mexico.

According to CIBC analysts, Gustav’s passage through the Gulf of Mexico could lead to a 30% increase in fuel prices in the United States. “Just three years after hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated oil production in the Gulf of Mexico, a storm is threatening the heart of America’s energy industry.” crude oil in the United States for 26%, and that of gas for 11%. During the passage of the two hurricanes in 2005, the production of crude in the area had been reduced by 95% and that of gas by 88%.


“With lower oil and gasoline inventories than at the time of Katrina and Rita, the consequences on prices could be worse” than in 2005, analysts add, predicting gasoline prices that could reach $5 per gallon (3.78 liters). Less abundant on the market, energies would become more expensive.

Investors are already worried about the possible consequences of the passage of Gustav, which became a hurricane again on Friday evening. On Wall Street, oil prices then rose by more than two dollars.

The US government has tried to allay fears by declaring readiness to draw on the country’s strategic reserves if needed.

“We are ready to use all the authority necessary to provide energy supplies in the event of interruptions” in production, said Bethany Shively, a spokeswoman for the US Department of Energy.

These statements were heard in the markets. A barrel of light sweet crude oil closed Friday in New York at 115.46 dollars, almost stable compared to its price the day before. The same trend was observed in London, where the barrel of Brent from the North Sea ended the session at 114.05 dollars.

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