Prices spiking as motorists gas up for Labor Day weekend
Sep 02 2017 by Cristina Jennings
Parts of Beaumont and Port Arthur also flooded as Harvey lost strength and moved into Louisiana.
AAA Texas on Thursday reported the average price at the pump statewide was $2.26 per gallon. "However, we have 230 million barrels of gasoline in storage in the United States right now".
The Explorer Pipeline, which hauls fuel from the Gulf Coast to the Midwest region, aims to restart its main lines this weekend as refineries indicated they would be able to resume supplies after Tropical Storm Harvey, a spokesman toldReuters.
Others were seen running at higher rates to boost profitability by filling shortages.
Californians are getting squeezed from several angles - expected and unexpected - though we don't even get our gas from the gulf, he said. On Thursday, Colonial Pipeline shut down a crucial artery in the nation's fuel supply network that provides more than 3 million barrels of diesel, gasoline and jet fuel daily to major cities from Houston to NY.
The US government tapped the strategic oil reserves on Thursday in order to ease crude shortages at a Louisiana refinery and there is scope for a further release of funds over the next few days.
Many U.S. refiners would like to turn to Canada for oil supplies, particularly because our lower dollar makes our petroleum products a good value.
"We heard there was going to be a shortage", one driver told CBS Dallas-Fort Worth.
"I would say two weeks as an absolute best case scenario (to get refineries up)".
US gasoline futures rose as high as $2.1705 per gallon for the first time since 2015, while Energy Secretary Rick Perry warned that pump prices would rise.
In Miami alone, the average price of gas Friday was $2.54 compared to $2.32 a week ago, according to the American Automobile Association. According to GasBuddy.com the closed refineries account for roughly 25 percent of USA refining capacity.
Together, the 18 refineries constitute 24.5 percent of USA capacity. It now is at 679 million barrels. But supplies from distant markets may not arrive soon enough to avert a crunch.
"Increases should start to slow next week sometime, maybe midweek", he said.
According to B.J.'s Cory Walker, prices there vaulted up 30 cents since Monday. Front-month diesel futures in the New York Mercantile Exchange have gained 5.9 percent this week, rising to the highest in more than two years on Thursday.
"So the high prices are here for the next week, and we'll have to see after that". The Colonial Pipeline provides almost 40 percent of the South's gasoline.
Experts say Harvey is not like Katrina and will not have a long-lasting impact. A spokeswoman for the office said as of Thursday afternoon there have been 202 complaints of price-gouging at service stations around Texas since Harvey began.