Gas prices have surged by nearly 10 cents in Colorado, and over 10 cents nationwide, in the last week.

According to 9News, the surge occurred as a result of gasoline refineries going offline due to severe winter storms in the Gulf Coast region.

A report from AAA Colorado states that, compared to this time last week, gas prices increased by $0.07 per gallon in Colorado and $0.13 nationwide; the surge has driven the national average price for gas up to $2.63 — the most expensive price since October 2019.

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"With close to 40 percent of U.S. crude production offline because refineries are closed, there is going to be pain at the pump until operations resume," said Skyler McKinley, regional director of public affairs for AAA.

Refinery outages were reported in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kansas last week — but McKinley said normal operations should pick up soon.

"Luckily, most of the nearly two dozen impacted refiners should be able to restart operations this week, if they haven't already."

9News says gas prices in Denver have risen to $2.47 per gallon, which is up $0.19 from last month and $0.13 from last year. Statewide, gas prices are currently the highest in Vail at $2.90 per gallon.

The Fort Collins/Loveland area was the only place in the state to experience a decline in gas prices, which dropped from $2.47 per gallon in 2020 to $2.44 this week.

The AAA report states gas prices will be volatile until crude production returns to normal levels; large spikes, however, should subside until the summer months.

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