Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Harvey Causes Rise in Gas Prices

About a fifth of the Gulf Coast's oil output remains shut down following Hurricane HarveyMore About a fifth of the Gulf Coast's oil output remains shut down following Hurricane HarveyMore
Orlando Vargas | 03 September, 2017, 13:43

"The refineries were built on the Gulf Coast with the idea that we're going to import", said Sandy Fielden, director of oil and products research at Morningstar in Austin, Texas, "That's why we're having problems today because that's where they were all built".

Colonial said there are 26 refineries that supply its pipeline system and half are located between Houston and Lake Charles, La., the main area impacted by the storm.

Yesterday, Valero said that due to flooding it was fully shutting its Port Arthur, Texas, refinery, after running at roughly 40% for days.

As a result of the outages, major pipelines began to close lines outright because of a lack of supply. It hit a three year low of $1.88 in February 2016. It took several weeks for prices to return to normal.

USA gasoline prices have surged.

Overnight, retail gasoline prices surged in wide areas east of the Mississippi River. "Here in Oklahoma, we're holding steady and actually up only 2.5 cents over last week".

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Stewart noted that overall oil and gas inventories are still at or above their 5-year highs, but added that, until the amount of damage in Texas is fully assessed, the prices will continue to rise. The most expensive gas prices in the state are in Nashville ($2.30), Memphis ($2.26) and Clarksville ($2.24).

US gasoline futures were higher, rising 0.62% to $1.6302.

The storm took almost 25 percent of the Gulf Coast's refining capacity offline.

Gas prices across the USA have risen about 17 cents a gallon this week and Hurricane Harvey is to blame. The national price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline averaged 2.45 US dollars on Thursday, the highest recorded pump price of the year, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).

With many of its supplying refineries closed, the Colonial Pipeline said it suspended its gasoline, diesel and jet fuel pipelines, which are a major supplier from the Southeast to NY.

According to Reuters, the situation for consumers is likely to get worse before it gets better. Oil market analysts projected about 13 to 16 percent of the country's capacity to refine crude oil into gasoline, diesel and other fuels was offline Tuesday.

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