Friday, 15 December, 2017

Harvey is pushing gasoline prices higher, even as oil remains cheap

Oil sees slight recovery after hit from storm Harvey Gasoline spikes, crude slumps as Harvey wreaks havoc on US refiners
Juana Turner | 31 August, 2017, 01:13

Analysts predict the price of gasoline will jump between 5 cents and 15 cents across the country this fall. Some estimates say that United States refining capacity dropped 13 percent in the wake of the storm. "It's still really early to tell what this is going to mean for long-term supply", said Denton Cinquegrana, chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Service, of the shutdowns. "Multiple refineries and drilling rigs had to be evacuated ahead of the storm, and the Houston Ship Channel was closed". The term refers to the differential in crude oil prices and the price of gas products that refineries are able to churn out. He suggested retailers could use the wholesale price increase as an excuse to raise prices to boost profit margins.

DeHaan said the fact that global reserves are en route underscores the "severity of the situation".

Blasky noted that most Californians are already paying $3 or more for gas, and West Coast refineries have been running at high production levels to offset the summer demand. That's up five cents from Tuesday and up 10 cents from the August 21 statewide average of $2.18. "Harvey has helped speed that along even more". That's 11 cents below the national average of $2.37. Some of the cheapest gas in the area can be found at Costco Whole in Tampa, where prices are $2.17 per gallon, or the Sunoco on 49th Street South in St. Petersburg, where prices are $2.19 a gallon.

"We are pennies from that", she added.

Some experts say that gas prices could rise as high as 35 cents in some parts of the country, including Texas, because platforms and rigs were shut down in anticipation of the storm.

"I don't expect a whole lot of fuel availability issues across North Carolina, but we will likely see prices rise", he said. "The only lasting impact is if refineries are out for months".

Gas prices increases are not expected to be as severe as they could be or as they were after hurricane Katrina when prices increased 80 cents per gallon.

Right now, the statewide average for a gallon of regular unleaded gas in SC is $2.10 and in North Carolina is $2.22.


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