Energy Dept. Taps Into Oil Reserves as Gas Prices Rise Nationwide

Posted September 02, 2017

That means pumps will be intermittently run out of gas, till they can get more fuel trucked in from large storage terminals that get fuel directly from refineries along the Gulf Coast.

The $2.44 price average Thursday was the highest recorded price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline so far in 2017, according to AAA.

Prices rose by 7 cents overnight between Thursday and Friday.

The West Coast price for diesel increased three cents to $2.91 per gallon, the Gulf Coast price rose two cents to $2.43 per gallon, the East Coast price increased almost one cent, remaining at $2.62 per gallon, and the Rocky Mountain region witnessed a jump of less than one cent to $2.72 per gallon.

The Motiva refinery in Port Arthur, the largest US refinery, could be down for a month, Lipow said.

Three more refineries in Port Arthur, Texas, followed suit on Thursday, bringing the total sidelined USA capacity to about 20 percent.

Many of us expected to see higher prices at the pump this Labor Day weekend, but Hurricane Harvey is the blame for the rise.

CNN reports the No. 2 USA refinery, ExxonMobil's facility in Baytown, Texas, is also offline due to roof damage and other "operational issues" caused by Harvey.

Kloza said because of those factors, prices could stay high during September, but start to drop late in October. The contract fell by as much as 3% to $1.7189 per gallon. The refinery interruptions have worsened as Harvey moved east on Wednesday, slamming into the Louisiana coast near the Texas border.

The Beaumont/Port Arthur area in Texas, where several large refiners are located, has seen more rain in the last 24 hours in than any other part of the region since the storm began late last week, according to David Roth, meteorologist at the US Weather Prediction Center.

Crude prices recovered slightly in in Asian trade Tuesday a day after heavy falls caused by the impact of monster storm Harvey on a key U.S. oil-producing region.

We've enjoyed some relatively low gas prices for several months, compared to prices of a few years ago.

What drivers won't have to worry about is a shortage of fuel, she said. The company is evaluating what needs to be fixed before making estimates about when the refineries will be up and running again.

"No doubt, Harvey has impacted operations and access to refineries in the Gulf Coast".

"Overall stocks (of gasoline) in the Gulf are above average levels and will be available to drivers once power is restored and area roads are cleared".