Gas prices surge as Harvey puts more strain on refineries, pipelines

Posted August 31, 2017

Hurricane Harvey's effects can be seen across the country in the form of rising gas prices.

"Gas prices will go up". Including the change in gas prices in Sacramento during the past week, prices yesterday were 34.0 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 7.5 cents per gallon higher than a month ago.

Kim Fundingsland/MDN The price of gasoline increased at some pumps in Minot as of midday Tuesday.

Those prices are expected to go back down once Hurricane Harvey subsides.

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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.

"As in any national or local state of emergency, AAA expects gas prices to be held in check up and down the gasoline supply chain, including prices set by refiners, distributors and dealers unless there is a clearly justifiable reason for an increase", Casselano said. "Typically prices tend to drop 20 cents or so in September, but with supply being down, it will most likely take a bit longer".

With refineries offline in Houston, Patrick DeHaan, Senior Petroleum Analyst at GasBuddy, says we could see prices in the $2.60 to $2.70 range possibly by Tuesday afternoon, which would be the highest we've seen in about two years.

Thornbrugh said since wholesale prices have gone up, retail prices for gasoline will also increase. "That doesn't mean that prices won't spike overnight".

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Gas prices in Virginia could jump as much as 15 to 25 cents per gallon - or more - within 10 days as the result of Hurricane Harvey's impact in Texas, AAA Mid-Atlantic officials are warning.

Hurricane Harvey's impact is being felt at the gas pump. Overall stocks in the Gulf are above average levels and will be available to drivers once power and refinery systems are restored and area roads are cleared.

McTeague says oil sent down to be refined may not have a market for awhile.

AAA found regular selling for as low as $2.11 and as high as $2.39 per gallon.

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"The days are getting shorter, so it's a good idea to have flashlights and extra batteries in your emergency kit, along with food and water", Conde said.