Retail US gasoline prices surge as Harvey keeps refiners shut

Posted September 02, 2017

"Because of the shortage, you will likely see a price increase in the East Coast, which would incentivize the other refiners to shift gasoline yields", Rogers said.

"Supplies are plentiful. They got a good, healthy supply right now, so there shouldn't be any shortages created", said Neil Doroshanko, a AAA travel branch manager in Greensboro.

"There is enough gas out there", he said. "Consumers will see the impacts of these disruptions and higher cost alternatives in higher prices paid at the pump". On Thursday morning, the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the US was $2.462, up nearly 2 cents from yesterday and 11 cents from last week, according to fuel tracking site GasBuddy. There are presently 13 refineries shut down or in the process of shutting down, including the nation's largest, Motiva Enterprises LLC's Port Arthur refinery.

Alabama's average Thursday was $2.21, up from Wednesday's average of $2.16.

"As soon as Texas gets back on its feet and can get some of the floodwaters gone and can crank the refineries back up again, those prices should come back down", Ingram said.

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Gasoline prices in the Upstate jumped from around $2.09 per gallon on August 28 to about $2.33 today. "There will be plenty of gas to pump (through the pipeline)".

The energy situation during Harvey differs from Hurricane Katrina, when the Colonial pipeline was forced to temporarily close from power outages.

A view of the price board at a Mobil gas station on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, in Latham, N.Y.

After yesterday's RBOB gasoline futures expiration blowout, the Trump Administration is pulling out all the stops to try to reduce shortages of gasoline and try to calm down soaring prices. Some may drop their profit margin from 8 cents per gallon to 4 cents per gallon.

The Colonial is owned by a consortium of companies, including Koch Industries Inc., Shell Pipeline Co. and South Korea's National Pension Service.

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Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo banned fracking June 2015, claiming the technique to extract natural gas from the ground used too much water and could potentially contaminate the state's drinking source.

Still, DeHaan says there's no need to panic.

"It's only going to get worse as we head into Labor Day weekend", he said, adding that anytime prices are up, it eats into money that could be spent on food or shelter.

"We now estimate that we will be able to return to service from Houston on Sunday, following an evaluation of our infrastructure and successful execution of our start up plan", a Colonial release states.

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