Harvey drives up gasoline prices

Gas prices are up ever since Tropical Storm Harvey clobbered Houston.  Flooding at refineries is reducing gasoline production, and damage to pipelines is making it hard to distribute what gas is available.

Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum engineer with GasBuddy, says the national average price at the pump is at its “highest level in two years.”  “The average price in Houston’s only up about 2 cents versus yesterday, but up about 11 cents in the last week.”  He made this observation late last week. 

The availability of crude oil to refine is another factor, DeHaan says.  “Once the Ship Channel reopens,” he notes, “some of the crude carriers that are idling right now in the Gulf of Mexico can make their crude oil deliveries to the refineries.”

He says it won’t take long for the situation to stabilize.  “We’re probably talking at least a week before refineries can start turning out gasoline again,” her predicts, and then it should be about two weeks before gas prices start back down.

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