South Carolina, for instance, has seen prices rise almost 30 cents, and prices were up almost 20 cents in Texas, where fuel shortages were already evident. “That’s quite a bit of an increase for someone who might be planning their last weekend getaway for the holiday, the last weekend of summer”, she said.
The Colonial Pipeline is like the I-95 of the nation’s pipeline network, it’s that vital.
“We now estimate that we will be able to return to service from Houston on Sunday, following an evaluation of our infrastructure and successful execution of our start up plan”, a Colonial release states. The cost of a gallon of gas at some stations across Marietta Thursday pushed $2.60, though others offered fuel for about 30 cents cheaper.
“I’m anxious this could take weeks, as much flooding as it is and how many oil refineries”, said driver Donna Crestanza.
Retail gasoline prices have started to rise, too, with the average gallon of gasoline rising 1 cent overnight to $2.38 nationally.
Motiva Enterprises LLC’s Port Arthur refinery, the country’s largest, with the ability to produce 600,000 barrels of products a day, will be shut for at least two weeks, according to sources familiar with plant operations. The national average could top $2.50 for the first time in two years.
“If motorists are starting to make a run on the pumps, stations are going to start running out of gas”, said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with gasoline price tracker GasBuddy.com.
As New Jersey residents hit the road for Labor Day weekend, drivers will notice a significant bump in gas prices when stopping to fill up.
Washington, D.C. metro gas average at $2.40 today, up five cents from yesterday and up 10 cents in the last week. Lives are turned upside down.
It’s a combination of factors which culminated in the shut down of ten Gulf Coast oil refineries. The ongoing gasoline supply issues could reduce East Coast inventories to 3- to 5-year lows, he said by phone from Houston.
The partial closure is due to a lack of supply from idled refineries, as well as storm damage to Colonial’s facilities near Lake Charles, Louisiana, according to Colonial.
The Energy Department released 500,000 barrels of crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve on Thursday. The storm has led to major refinery shutdowns and has effected the company’s facilities west of Louisiana.
The Colonial Pipeline is the largest system to carry fuel between the Gulf of Mexico and NY. One commenter, Angela Flynn said, in part, “Just get gas like normal, all these people getting insane and getting more than normal is what is causing the shortage”. “These are preventative measures”. And while only half the Dallas-Forth Worth area stores will have gasoline, all will remain open, he said.
Attracted by a surge in profits, refiners in Asia have also been trying to fix fuel cargoes to the United States, despite the huge distance across the Pacific.