Florida – Florida drivers are expected to see prices rise at the pump after Hurricane Harvey pummeled the Gulf Coast over the weekend, according to AAA.
“Hurricane Harvey hit a major supply line for gasoline in Florida and along the eastern seaboard,” Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for AAA Auto Club Group, says. “Multiple refineries and drilling rigs had to be evacuated ahead of the storm, and the Houston Ship Channel was closed.”
AAA says that gas prices on the The New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) surged 7% in overnight trading Sunday, and that the upward trend is expected to carry over to prices at the pump.
Jenkins says that there remains a lot of uncertainty in the market in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. “There is uncertainty of the extent of the damages and how long before operations are fully restored. Motorists should expect higher prices this week. It’s still too early to know how much prices will rise, but a minimum of 10-30 cents would not be a surprise,” he explains.
(Chart courtesy of AAA)
Currently, the average price for a gallon of regular in Florida is $2.315, and the current average for Daytona Beach is $2.30. For gas price averages in other Florida cities, go here.
Below are some estimates from AAA partners at the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) regarding the effects of Hurricane Harvey on oil prices:
- One out of every five barrels of gasoline produced in the United States has been threatened by Hurricane Harvey.
- More than a quarter of refining capacity in the U.S. Gulf Coast was offline.
- The current tally of oil refinery capacity stalled by Harvey is estimated at 2,546,700 barrels per day or 28% of Gulf Coast capacity.
- Eight refineries in Texas were in the process of being taken through controlled shutdowns.
- Other refineries reduced production by an estimated 50% to conserve supply, due to the closure of the Houston Ship Channel.
- Further refinery shutdowns are possible, given the extent of flooding and forecasts for heavy rain in the greater Houston, TX area.
- Valero Energy Corporation’s assessment of storm impacts at its Corpus Christi and Three Rivers sites is that they did not sustain “substantial refinery impacts” due to the storm. (The company is working with government agencies and business partners to evaluate logistical measures needed to resume operations, with port operations a particular focus).
- The amount of crude oil output shut in at U.S. Gulf of Mexico offshore platforms was estimated at 378,633 b/d or 21.64% of typical daily production in the region.
- Five rigs and 105 (out of a total of 737 manned platforms) were evacuated.
Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2017.