Fuel Costs Soar Nationally And Across Southeast In Harvey's Wake

Fuel Costs Soar Nationally And Across Southeast In Harvey's Wake

Fuel Costs Soar Nationally And Across Southeast In Harvey's Wake

However, for veteran OPEC officials, Hurricane Harvey's impact on global oil markets was one of the strangest things they have seen, as the storm has led to some of the biggest disruptions to USA energy infrastructure, but failed to boost crude prices.

Many stations in the Dallas area were out of gas Friday, and those that had it were often charging more than $3 a gallon - and drawing long lines of desperate drivers. Prices are already up by six cents a gallon in Washington, D.C., Georgia and SC since Friday, when the national average was about $2.35 a gallon.

"Despite the country's overall oil and gasoline inventories being at or above five-year highs, until there is clear picture of damage and an idea when refineries can return to full operational status, gas prices will continue to increase".

One of those refineries forced to shut down Wednesday due to the storm was Motiva's in Port Arthur, which is the country's largest. Prices at pumps are rising by 8-10 cents per gallon to an average of $2.45, according to the American Automobile Association. Citgo Petroleum Corp said it was moving to restart its 157,500-barrel-per-day (bpd) refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas.

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Gas prices have spiked yet again and are now up about 24 cents a gallon since Hurricane Harvey struck Texas.

By tapping the Northeast gasoline stockpile, the government could ease pressure caused by the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, which normally carries vast amounts of gasoline between Houston and the East Coast.

After Superstorm Sandy, the USA also created a Northeast gasoline supply reserve, which is located in New York, Boston and Maine.

"Hopes that the weekend will bring some good news on port and refinery openings is probably doing its part to reduce support" for gasoline, said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S.

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With the largest refinery in the United States closed Wednesday, crude oil prices continued to bear the brunt of Tropical Storm Harvey.

With Gulf Coast refineries and ports shut after Harvey, it was unclear whether there would be strong demand for an immediate release of crude from the SPR. About 4 million barrels per day of refining capacity was shut down - more than one-fifth of the nation's supply. Two of the major pipelines delivering gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from the Gulf Coast are operating at reduced rates or plan to shut entirely, with wholesale markets in Chicago and the Gulf region seeing sharply higher prices.

We expect an impact on high frequency data because of the sizable drop in demand from utilities, which will show up in industrial production and consumption in the personal consumption expenditures report.

"There's a worry now that most of the Texas refineries could be compromised for weeks rather than days", Oil Price Information Service chief oil analyst Tom Kloza told CNN.

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