How panicked drivers are making North Texas gas shortages worse

Friday, 01 Sep, 2017

Canadian-owned refineries are expected to register higher profits as more U.S. Gulf Coast facilities are shut down due to ongoing extensive flooding from what's left of Hurricane Harvey.

At least 10 refineries have been knocked offline by historic flooding in the Houston and Corpus Christi regions.

The oil will be delivered to the Phillips 66 refinery in Lake Charles, Louisiana, a department statement said.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued fuel waivers in 38 states and Washington, D.C.to ease concerns of supply shortages. "We have not had an event like this since 2005", he added, referencing Hurricane Katrina's impact on oil markets. "We barely have enough for ourselves", he said. About 4.4 million barrels a day of U.S. Others said higher gasoline prices might prompt operational refineries to delay typical September seasonal maintenance.

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded stood at $2.535 by early Friday afternoon, according to data from GasBuddy.

On Tuesday, the national average was $2.378 a gallon, according to AAA.

Gas price spikes after hurricanes tend to be fleeting.

According to a release from the Dept. of Energy, Sec.

But gasoline markets aren't freaking out. That refinery has not been affected by the storm, which has hammered the Gulf Coast for several days.

All told, gasoline futures have surged by 13% since Friday afternoon, before Harvey disrupted a huge chunk of the nation's ability to turn oil into gasoline and other products like jet fuel.

At least two major pipelines - one that ships gasoline across the southern U.S.to NY, and another that runs to Chicago - have seen oil flows slowed or stopped since Harvey struck the Gulf of Mexico. And the refineries that remained open aren't operating at full speed.

Analysts at JBC Energy said that figure could slip to as low as 15-16 million bpd.

"For all intents and purposes, there's little to no gasoline consumption in that market right now".

The price for West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark for the price of oil, was down 0.95 percent to $46 per barrel as of 9:15 a.m. EDT. If the crisis in Texas increased demand even as the supply dipped, it could be "bearish" for local oil producers.

"Recognize that Gulf Coast refineries that were idled by Harvey present about 40% of East-of-the-Rockies' production", said Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at the Oil Price Information Service.

It also depends on where Harvey goes next.

The USDA was projecting a record large nationwide cotton crop of 20.5 million bales this year, but the storm could end up affecting around 5 percent of the crop, which sent prices to more than 72 cents per pound for the first time since mid-June.