“The refineries were built on the Gulf Coast with the idea that we’re going to import”, said Sandy Fielden, director of oil and products research at Morningstar in Austin, Texas, “That’s why we’re having problems today because that’s where they were all built”.
Almost a year ago Colonial suffered a break in its Line 1 in Georgia, interrupting fuel supplies to the East Coast.
Still, conditions are returning to normal around the Port of Corpus Christi, where flooding was minimal.
With the waiver, retailers in these areas will be allowed to sell “winter-blend” gasoline early. Local drivers are paying an extra 10 cents a gallon and prices could continue to rise. Boening says expect to start seeing the impact of Tropical Storm Harvey at the gas pump towards the weekend, into next week.
Gasoline prices jumped to two-year highs Friday as Hurricane Harvey continued to paralyze refineries and pipelines in Texas.
Burlington- $2.44/g, up 2.7 cents per gallon from last week’s $2.42/g.
It’s even higher, however, in SC – hundreds of miles from the storm zone – and normally where consumers can buy the cheapest fuel in the nation. Its operator was forced to shut the main diesel line late Wednesday and planned to halt its gasoline line Thursday, meaning motorists from ME to Florida may soon see higher prices at the pump. On Thursday, as gasoline prices surged, the Energy Department agreed to deliver 1 million barrels from the reserve to a refinery in Louisiana that was unable to get crude after Hurricane Harvey disrupted supplies, and followed up with an additional 3.5 million barrels.
The storm has forced a closure of 13 Gulf Coast refineries that produce gasoline, putting a damper on how much oil the industry can transform into gas.
According to Reuters, the situation for consumers is likely to get worse before it gets better. The Environmental Protection Agency has chose to waive some of its environmental standards on gasoline for select counties in Texas in an attempt to alleviate the tight and potential shortage of supply.