Thursday, 14 December, 2017

Harvey, holiday demand propel gas prices to their highest of year

The Vayu report noted that the wholesale gas prices were now back at levels not seen since last February. Thinkstock The Vayu report noted that the wholesale gas prices were now back at levels not seen since last February. Thinkstock
Sammy Stanley | 04 September, 2017, 00:56

Prices for the October futures early Friday were slightly lower, suggesting traders don't expect the higher prices to last.

AAA said drivers should not be alarmed.

According to AAA, the national average was $2.52 on Friday morning.

U.S. Gulf coast refiners regularly export gasoline to Mexico, for instance, and diesel to Europe.

Pump prices were at $2.59 a gallon on Saturday, according to motorists advocacy group AAA, up 3 percent from Friday and 16.7 percent higher on average than a year ago.

Damage to energy supplies from Hurricane Harvey combined with the traditional increase in Labor Day travel is already leading to higher gas prices in MA, and U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry is tapping into the nation's strategic reserves as part of the federal government's response to the massive storm.

Analysts said prices would seesaw until there the market got a clearer outlook for the refinery industry.

A Conoco station on Garden of the Gods near I-25 has regular gas priced at $2.77 a gallon.

While much of the region's refining infrastructure still remained offline from Harvey, which made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane last week and drenched Texas as a tropical storm, the restarts were a first step in alleviating concerns about U.S. fuel supplies. Refineries in Lake Charles, LA, could still close or reduce rates as Harvey moves east.

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AAA says this is the highest price CT has seen for gas all year.

National and state gas prices have jumped close to twenty cents from a week ago.

The forced shutdown of these refineries is causing disruptions in deliveries to gas stations in some areas.

Last month in Louisiana, the average cost per gallon was $2.09.

No gasoline shortages were reported in Oklahoma, but local fuel prices have climbed as some local gasoline has been diverted across the Red River.

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued fuel waivers for 38 states and Washington, allowing fuel additive requirements to be temporarily suspended to help alleviate demand on supplies.

The company says it expects to resume service on its Houston crude oil distribution system over the weekend.

Those sure to feel the pain at the pump soonest are drivers hitting the road for the Labor Day weekend.

It may take a few days for the situation to return to normal, Sitton said. "With this whole tip in the balance in which the U.S.is in a deficit of gas production, and the price of gas is soaring - that's drawing the eye of gas refineries around the globe".

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