Gas prices could spike amidst Hurricane Harvey devastation


Massive flooding from Hurricane Harvey has affected the oil and gas industry in Texas and triggered a spike in fuel prices. Natural gas saw a dramatic increase in price in 2005 and 2008, he said.

Hurricane Harvey is sending pump prices higher for US motorists and causing temporary shifts in the flow of oil and gasoline around the world after taking down a huge chunk of USA refining capacity.

Average gasoline prices across Georgia have risen 11.8 cents per gallon in the past week due to hurricane Harvey temporarily closing down oil refineries in Texas. 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. "Prices will likely rise almost countrywide heading into Labor Day". Some analysts believe the increase could be 10 to 20 cents per gallon, though it would probably fall again as refining capacity comes back online.

According to AAA Kansas, gas prices have been on the rise for the past week to 10 days. That's considerably lower than the national average of $2.40. These blends are less expensive to produce and could therefore help to curtail extreme price increases at the pump.

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In the Capital Region, the immediate affect on gas prices has been a little less than it has been nationally, since there is significant gas inventory in the Northeast. As a result, if refineries restart and crude oil and employees can get to them, they is enough product to refine. "It's still really early to tell what this is going to mean for long-term supply", said Denton Cinquegrana, chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Service, of the shutdowns.

The devastation of Hurricane Harvey continues to grow, with some 30,000 people displaced, 30 confirmed dead and a second landfall near the Texas-Louisiana border on Wednesday morning.

It could take two weeks or longer before big refineries in the Houston area can recover from a record-setting deluge and resume normal operations. But with prices expected to remain high for an extended period, budget-conscious drivers might need a few strategies to reduce costs. If Texas refineries are down for an extended period of time, the national average could climb above $2.50 a gallon, the highest price since August 28, 2015.