Hurricane Harvey Brings Higher Gas Prices

Dianna Christensen
August 31, 2017

The off-shore wells from which the refineries receive crude oil also produce natural gas; however, the impact upon natural gas prices will not be as great as in 2005 and 2008, the year of other catastrophic storms, he said.

Different areas of the country will experience various price jumps, with the Midwest estimated to have a 25-cent increase in gas prices this week because of price cycling (where competing stations lower prices, then reset them midweek), according to DeHaan.

The impact could be felt as far north as Delaware.

Massive flooding from Hurricane Harvey has affected the oil and gas industry in Texas and triggered a spike in fuel prices. New York Harbor gasoline gained another 12.5 cents, or 7%, to $1.90 a gallon. Average statewide prices in 2014 peaked at $3.74 per gallon, according to GasBuddy.com.

Harvey has wreaked havoc on US energy infrastructure along the Texas Gulf Coast, which is home to about 30 refineries that produce gasoline, diesel and other fuels.

The Environmental Protection Agency may waive current restrictions and allow gulf coast refineries to produce winter blends of gasoline immediately.

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Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told Katy Tur that his vote against disaster relief four years ago was justified. At the time, Texas' Republican lawmakers , led by Sen.

Thornbrugh said since wholesale prices have gone up, retail prices for gasoline will also increase.

While not yet known, early indicators do not seem to point to extensive damage to majority of refineries in the gulf.

In 2016, the AAA stopped conducting surveys about Americans' Labor Day holiday travel plans, saying it sees less travel than on other holiday weekends, but Stigberg said he expects auto travel to be heavy.

Many refineries are still down or only partially operational. That assumes they didn't suffer serious damage, which is still unknown.

With four-fifths of US petroleum exports consisting of refined products such as gasoline, though, the sharpest impacts will be felt there.

The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in Washington and Idaho on Tuesday was $2.95 and $2.74, respectively, according to AAA, and $2.38 nationally. In the Coeur d'Alene area, the price averaged $2.67, up 17 cents from a month prior. Prices peaked at $3.87 per gallon in 2013 and almost $4.00 in 2012. With the uncertainty of when the oil refineries will come back online, the United States' energy challenges could potentially end up worse than previously thought.

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