Gas Prices Hit 2 Year High as 'Harvey' Disrupts Gulf Coast Refineries

Women are illuminated by the light of a smart phone as they seek refuge in the Good Samaritan Rescue Mission in Corpus Christi. REUTERS  Adrees Latif

Women seek shelter at the Good Samaritan Rescue Mission during Hurricane Harvey in Corpus Christi Texas Thomson Reuters

The Pennsylvania average is $2.54 a gallon.

"Our impact (in the Carolinas) could be minimal". But is that really in the cards? "Multiple refineries and drilling rigs had to be evacuated ahead of the storm, and the Houston Ship Channel was closed".

The Houston, Texas City and Baytown region is home to 11 refineries that in total represent 14 percent of processing capacity in the U.S. "Fears of a supply crunch are sending prices charging higher".

"Refinery shutdowns lasting more than two weeks would have a large negative impact on gasoline prices moving forward", GasBuddy reports.

In global oil markets, Brent crude futures were stronger at $52.60 per barrel, up 19 cents, or 0.4 percent as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) holds back production in order to prop up prices.

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If you would like to become a trained SC Red Cross volunteer , please leave a message at 843-410-8467. Help people affected by Hurricane Harvey by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS.

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"Overall, each refining company will tend to benefit (at least from a margins, earnings and stock price perspective) from periods of disruption like this, even if they have assets affected", Justin Jenkins, an analyst at Raymond James & Associates, wrote in a research note.

The extent of damages to Texas refineries also will determine how much, if at all, Hurricane Harvey crimps the availability of gas at service stations, Wright told The High Point Enterprise. He expects refineries in the Corpus Christi area to be back in operation by mid-week. However, Colonial Pipeline said its Gulf Coast pipeline and terminals are continuing to operate normally. In some areas along the Texas coast, as much as 50 inches of rain are expected before the storm subsides.

To help alleviate the tight and potential shortage of supply, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced over the weekend that it will waive environmental standards on gasoline for select counties in Texas.

Gasoline prices in the Capital Region are up 2 cents in the past week and almost 13 cents above year-earlier prices, according to the latest figures from the AAA Fuel Gauge report.

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