Retail gas prices are set to jump to new highs as Hurricane Katrina churned through the heart of U-S oil and natural gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico.
Crude oil prices rose briefly above $70.00 a barrel for the first time and wholesale gas prices in New York and Gulf Coast markets soared by 25 to 35 cents a gallon.
That jump came as reports said about 8% of the nation's refining capacity had been shut down because of the storm.
One analyst says pump prices nationwide would likely average more than $2.75 a gallon by week's end, up from about $2.60 a gallon Monday.
President Bush is considering releasing some oil from the nation's emergency stockpile to help refiners once the storm passes.