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Looming Gas Shortage: "Imports Can't Make Up For This"

Looming Gas Shortage:

Looming Gas Shortage: "Imports Can't Make Up For This"

Both of Colonial Pipeline's two main lines are shutdown in Texas.

Refiner Motiva has warned customers along the route of the largest USA fuel pipeline to prepare for shortages after Harvey shut refineries and cut supply to the line, said a source at a fuel distributor supplied by Motiva. Running from the Houston area to NY harbor, it includes more than 5,500 miles of pipeline, most of it underground, and provides almost 40 percent of the South's gasoline.

The effect will continue for several weeks, if not months, after Harvey hammered the Gulf Coast for several days, causing floods that buried Houston and the surrounding area in several feet of water.

Of the 26 refineries that connect to the Colonial system, 13 are located between Houston and Lake Charles.

Gov. Roy Cooper on Thursday declared a state of emergency in order to allow gasoline to move into and through North Carolina amid delivery problems caused by Hurricane Harvey.

Six refineries have begun the process of assessing damage and restarting, which may take several days, according to AAA.

The pipeline had been operational through the worst of the Hurricane, easing fears about supply disruptions.

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Gas prices are going up across the state this week.

Suppliers in Chicago were trying to secure supplies after the Explorer Pipeline, which typically carries about 350,000 barrels a day (bpd) to the region, shut down.

One Chevron station in downtown Dallas that sold regular gas for $2.29 a gallon just before the storm was charging $2.99 on Thursday.

As a result, gas prices in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metro area rose by 5 cents between Wednesday and Thursday, climbing from $2.392 to $2.445 per gallon of unleaded regular on average, according to AAA. Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton addressed the panic Thursday afternoon at a press conference to dispel the gas shortage rumor. These closures meant a loss of 2 million gallons of gasoline per day. The average price per gallon in NY rose from $2.504 to $2.538 from Wednesday to Thursday, according to AAA.

Colonial Pipeline Co. shut down its line carrying diesel and jet fuel from Houston to New York Harbor on Wednesday because of because of damage and refinery outages west of Lake Charles, Louisiana, related to Hurricane Harvey.

Washington, D.C. gas average at $2.65 today, up three cents from yesterday and up eight cents in the last week. The premium for Chicago-area gasoline above benchmark futures is at its highest since June 2016, while the Gulf Coast price is at its widest above futures since August 2012.

"Valero is nearing containment and is having to hold the refineries at reduced rates or potentially even shutdown", according to the letter. Major refineries in the country have been shut, the largest USA pipeline of refined products has gone offline, crude oil production outages and logistical bottlenecks have led to a release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and motorists will be pinched when filling up at the pump for some time.

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