Hurricane Harvey to Affect Gas Prices Nationwide
According to GasBuddy, gasoline prices are poised to rise across wide portions of the United States as Hurricane Harvey shuts down refineries in the nation’s largest refining hub in Texas.
GasBuddy has activated its gas availability tracker to help motorists in affected areas of the Gulf of Mexico area find gasoline starting today.
As the major hurricane takes aim for Texas, several refineries have already shut down in Corpus Christi. A major refining hub in Houston continues to operate, but may come under attack from Harvey over the weekend, resulting in a possible large disruption to gasoline supply, sending gas prices higher across not only the South, but much of the country.
The shutdowns have led wholesale gasoline prices to rise nearly 10 cents per gallon, varying by location with the largest jumps in the Gulf, unsurprisingly.
“This storm came out of left field and while we were all watching the eclipse, Harvey was gaining steam and pushing forward,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy. “The impact on Texas could be significant, which could lead to long-term issues in terms of gasoline supply for large portions of the country.”
“While the picture continues to change, one thing is nearly guaranteed: gasoline prices in every state will be impacted to varying degrees over the next one to two weeks, possibly longer, so buckle up and be ready,” siad DeHaan.
While the exact impact on gasoline prices is not yet fully known due to the changing trajectory and path of the storm over the next few days, a clearer picture should emerge by early next week after some initial assessments start to trickle in.
A worst-case scenario would involve extensive damage in the refining hub of Houston. Rain and storm surge are the largest threats to refineries there. Refinery shutdowns lasting more than two weeks would have a large negative impact on gasoline prices moving forward.
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