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Gas Prices Jump in Virginia, as Refineries Shut Down by Harvey

03 September 2017

However, some refineries that shut last week said they would restart in the coming days.

Gas prices across America have soared in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Additionally, DOE released 500,000 barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve - the nation's reserve of crude oil.

And gas prices have spiked.

What some analysts considered to be a worst-case scenario materialized late Wednesday, when Colonial Pipeline said its system would be out of commission until refineries are able to reactivate production.

The country's biggest fuel transporter said Thursday that it hopes to resume moving fuel through hurricane-devastated Texas to the East Coast by the weekend, raising hopes that a severe national Labor Day gasoline shortage will be averted. Wright says gasoline is being diverted from the Northeast to take care of supply, but the says it is increased demand could lead to pain at the pump.

Gasoline prices at the pump are surging after Colonial Pipeline, which supplies fuel to wide areas of the eastern US, has shut down - not because of storm damage but because the refineries that supply it are not producing fuel.

Gasoline for September delivery, which expires Thursday, climbed as much as 12.39 cents to $2.0086 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest in more than two years. Motiva has told customers to prepare for fuel shortages, said a source at convenience store and gas station chain Circle K. The EPA said on Wednesday that it had expanded fuel waivers for gasoline throughout the U.S. Southeast in anticipation of supply shortages. That is enough to supply the East Coast for about eight hours.

If you'll remember back in November of a year ago, a leak in Alabama closed the Colonial Pipeline and drove up gas prices in parts of Tennessee.

Two of Valero Energy's Gulf Coast refineries kept operating throughout the storm, churning out gasoline.

Almost a quarter of US fuel output was knocked out since Harvey made landfall on Friday in Texas, where several large refiners are located. He explained refineries in Texas are simply underwater and shut down a portion of the pipeline until the water recedes.

FACTBOX-U.S. Gulf Coast energy infrastructure shutters, driving prices up.

Governor Roy Cooper signed an executive order Thursday to protect driver's from price gouging and sure up supply.

In a statement, Motiva declined to say how long its Port Arthur refinery would remain offline, saying it would start the process once local flooding receded.

Marshall Doney, President and CEO of AAA said: 'The storm has had a devastating effect on the lives of so many.

Harvey has set a record for the greatest amount of single-storm rainfall for the continental U.S. Through Friday, the storm continues to threaten heavy rain to parts of Louisiana and eastern Texas (3 to 6 inches), and even move into western Kentucky (10 inches).

Gas Prices Jump in Virginia, as Refineries Shut Down by Harvey