Hurricane Harvey blows gas prices way up

What does that mean for gas prices in New Orleans headed into Labor Day weekend?

Prices in Texas jumped 10 cents overnight, and are up 21 cents over the last week. “I got gasoline in Port Royal that was $2.49 and then on the interstate, I’ve seen as high as $2.50”, said Bert Riley.

Colonial Pipeline said Thursday it was temporarily suspending lines that originate in Houston and feed the East Coast. “Unless you have to get gas, don’t get gas”. Refineries will be back online, and the nation may be in a better position than before.

The United States has been hit by petrol or gasoline shortage as the effect of Tropical Storm Harvey and the flood it brought to Texas and environ disrupted production on the Gulf Coast.

Convenience store and gas station chain, Circle K, a big buyer from Motiva, said the company was working with a limited supply.

As many as 15 refineries were shut down because of the hurricane.

“Capitalism can be pretty cruel”, he said. Diesel prices rose slightly from $2.30 to $2.33 over the week.

Others charged well over $3, and one downtown Shell station charged $3.97 for a regular gallon of gas.

When it comes to gas prices, it’s always an issue of supply and demand. “But [prices] will remain above pre-Harvey [levels] for at least a few weeks”.

In the first tapping of the reserve for an emergency since Hurricane Isaac in 2012, two emergency exchanges of oil of 500,000 barrels will be delivered to the Phillips 66 refinery in Lake Charles, Louisiana, the department said. The operator doesn’t expect the pipeline to resume normal operations until Sunday.

The pipeline provides roughly 40 percent of the Southeast’s gasoline. Save the fuel for those who need it, particularly the areas in Texas that now must return and rebuild in the wake of Harvey.

Prices should continue to increase over the next week or so, but should drop later in September. Triple AAA said gas prices should go back down in around a month.

To be sure, there are always unknowns.

Exports could be contributing to the higher prices as some gas from the Northeast is being diverted to Florida.

Historic flooding caused by Harvey knocked one-fifth of the nation’s refining capacity offline, according to SP Global Platts. That would have a devastating impact on the region far beyond gas prices.

“Try to save what we can this time”.

Gasoline prices at pump spike on fears of spot shortages, as biggest US refinery shuts