The rising cost of fuel and the recent devastation in the Gulf Coast due to Hurricane Katrina problems with fuel supplies in some parts of the nation – especially along the East Coast and Midwest.

A check of various websites showed some gas prices as high as $3.99 a gallon in the Atlanta area and over $3 per gallon nationwide. Some stations have reported shortages, though many of them were temporary.

In Oklahoma, though, the gasoline supply seems fine in the wake of Hurricane Katrina – though the price has one up just about statewide.

“We are not really in any trouble in the area yet and are not having any real problems. If everyone will just buy what they need and not try to start hoarding gasoline we should not run into a shortage problem,” said David Guthrie of Bill Williams Oil Company in Woodward.

Price Analyst for Simons Petroleum Jimmy Arter said, “The Colonial Pipeline which is a major source of crude oil for the south was shut down the past few days because of the hurricane, and at least eight or nine refineries have been shut down or severely damaged and this is going to cause problems for many parts of the nation, however, as far as a gas shortage here in Oklahoma I believe we will not have to worry about this being a problem.”

Arter added, “I do see prices continue to rise for a few more weeks. Prices will be raised to keep gas available. If gas was cheap again then there would be a large demand for it which in turn would then cause a gas shortage in the state. My advice to Oklahomans would be to just get what you need and do not try to store gasoline in case of a shortage, people storing more than they need will be what causes it in the first place.”

Oklahoma’s gas supply seems to be holding steady as prices continue to keep going up. Most of Oklahoma’s fuel is shipped from the Houston area and not from the New Orleans, Arter said.

However, analysts said, many northern states will soon feel the squeeze of the fuel shortage as many tankers use the Mississippi River to carry fuel to states such as Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. With the devastation along the Mississippi River many tankers are not being allowed to travel until everything can be secured.

Some long waits were reported Thursday, many as long as three hours depending on the area.

Don Foster of Houston Edsel Incorporated in Canton said, “We are going to be fine in Oklahoma but we are being taken advantage of by people that speculate gas prices, but if people stop buying gas then the price of gas will go down.”