Ivan Drives Gas Prices Up

Gas prices (search) jumped more than 5 cents a gallon in the past two weeks, largely because of problems related to Hurricane Ivan (search), an industry analyst said Sunday.

The combined national average for all grades of gas hit $1.94 a gallon Friday, up about 5 cents from Sept. 10, according to the Lundberg Survey (search) of about 6,000 gas stations across the United States.

"Most of this is hurricane-related," said Trilby Lundberg, who publishes the semimonthly survey. "There was damage in the Gulf of Mexico to petroleum facilities, but there were also shutdowns in fear of damage. There were also delays of shipments of oil and refined products."

The average national price for self-serve regular, the biggest seller, reached $1.91. The mid-grade average was $2.01, and premium was pegged at $2.10.

The government said Friday it would lend 1.7 million barrels of oil from the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve to two companies because their refineries were running short of crude because of the hurricane.

Lundberg said she expects prices to stabilize shortly, or even slip.

The increases reversed a downward trend. Pump prices had been sliding since reaching a peak of $2.10 on May 21.