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Why you might want to fill up the gas tank soon

U.S. gas prices are expected to rise this week after an attack on two oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla — A major attack on two crucial Saudi Arabian oil production facilities over the weekend means you should likely expect to pay more at the pump.

RELATED: Saudi Arabia: Drone attacks knocked out half its oil supply

Patrick DeHaan, petroleum analyst with GasBuddy, said prices at the pump could rise between 10 cents and 25 cents for a gallon of regular gas beginning as soon as Tuesday.

The average price of gas in Tampa was $2.32, but some stations in the area were already raising prices to $2.50 per gallon by Monday evening.

“It will not be quite like the impact that we’ve seen in the past from say Hurricane Harvey, when prices went up 50 to 60 cents a gallon overnight,” DeHaan said.

DeHaan also says any price hike in Florida will likely be immediate as opposed to a gradual increase because most stations participate in a practice called "price cycling."

"They ignore daily fluctuations in wholesale price and actually lower their price for a period of several weeks," DeHaan explained. "Then they all at once pass along any change in wholesale price in a single day and that can cause gas prices to go up fairly dramatically in short order."

Credit: GasBuddy
The average price for a gallon of regular gas across the U.S., Tampa and Florida.

That said, the price hikes being predicted aren't nearly as bad as they could be, DeHaan argues, because timing is on our side.

“If this happened during a hurricane or summer driving season the problem for Floridians would be magnified,” he said. “If there’s any saving grace here it's that this is happening after summer, and we recently made the transition back to cheaper winter gasoline.”

RELATED: VERIFY: How the Saudi Arabia oil refinery attacks affect the US oil supply

U.S. oil imports from Saudi Arabia are the lowest they’ve been in a decade, according to data from the Energy Information Administration.

Meanwhile, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry says the Department of Energy is ready to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to offset the attack's impacts on global energy markets.

However, the disruption to global oil supply is still significant.

DeHaan cautions, even with the U.S. now a major oil producer, crude remains a global commodity so impacts to the supply chain are felt everywhere.

“There’s still the same amount of hands in the cookie jar even though there’s fewer cookies,” he said. “The U.S. might not be a main beneficiary to Saudi oil anymore, but other countries still are."

CBS News and the Associated Press contributed to this story.

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