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February 22 2018, 04:39 | Alonzo Simpson
Harvey unlikely to have major impact on capital region gas prices
Massive flooding from Hurricane Harvey has affected the oil and gas industry in Texas and triggered a spike in fuel prices. The region from Corpus Christi, Texas, where Harvey made landfall, to the Louisiana state line accounts for about 3 per cent of the USA economy and is a crucial export market for oil and chemicals.
Hurricane Harvey has shut down oil refineries in Texas, lowering the nation's refining capacity by around a sixth, CBS News reports. "At this point, I don't see gas prices rising at more than, say, 20 or 25 cents a gallon".
QuickTrip and Spinx have raised their prices at some of their stations substantially overnight to $2.25 for a gallon of unleaded fuel, according to Gas Buddy.
Damage to the refineries and timelines until they are back up and running is still unknown. "So, it's a waiting game right now".
Less supply causes a higher demand, which is why gas prices are up.
"No doubt, Harvey has impacted operations and access to refineries on the Gulf Coast", said Jeanette Casselano, a national AAA spokeswoman.
"This is sort of the last hurrah for summer travelers - a last chance for people to get away", Stigberg said.
Since 2005 and 2008, the Marcellus and Utica shales have been developed and are supplying natural gas, Burd said.
States close to, or in the lower Atlantic seaboard, like Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia are among those which are likely to see the largest gas prices increases as the Gulf Coast is the primary provider of gasoline for the region.
"But that was before the Marcellus Shale and the Utica Shale", Burd said. The Texas Gulf Coast is home to about 30 refineries that account for almost 30% of US capacity. Of course, we don't have spare barrels of gasoline we can send down there. "Two-thirds of product from the Gulf Coast is exported to the East Coast". The association said airlines were planning to increase flights to meet that demand. But that number should rise, since the Texas Gulf Coast is home to almost a quarter of the country's gasoline production.
Some pumps that were dispensing gasoline at $2.29 per gallon earlier this week have increased to as much as $2.44.
How long we'll see higher prices, he says, really just depends on how long refineries are down.