Benchmark U.S. gasoline prices and margins surged anew on Thursday.
Fuel prices at the pump likely are to climb after Colonial Pipeline, the largest USA gasoline conduit, was forced to shut its main diesel line late Wednesday and planned to halt its gasoline line Thursday because about half of Gulf Coast refining capacity was offline.
Colonial Pipeline predicted Sunday afternoon that it would pump gasoline again from its lines west of Louisiana on Tuesday. Reformulated gasoline blendstock traded up about 2.4% at almost $1.68 a gallon, up about 10 cents over the past five trading days. "I don't think it will have a significant long-term impact".
Gasoline futures for September delivery at New York Harbor extended gains for an eighth session on Thursday, the longest run since 2013, climbing above $2 per gallon.
Like many areas across the country, the Washington metro area is feeling the effects of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey as gasoline prices continue their climb higher.
Shortages were expected throughout North Texas - a shortfall caused by closed refineries on the Gulf Coast as a result of Hurricane Harvey - and several stations in Cleburne shrouded their pumps as gas ran out.
Colonial Pipeline said it would shut its main diesel, jet fuel and gasoline lines because of outages at its supply points.
As for the increased gas prices, AAA said they should start to drop next month.
Colonial Pipeline's 5,500-mile pipeline system begins in Houston and ends in Linden, New Jersey, serving seven airports and other facilities.
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.
"The market right now is more anxious about the tropical storm than they are about the weekly inventory", said Matt Sallee, who helps manage $16 billion in oil-related assets at Tortoise Capital Advisors LLC, by telephone. Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton addressed the panic Thursday afternoon at a press conference to dispel the gas shortage rumor. They plan to visit flood survivors in Houston and Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Parts of Texas have been hit by more than 50in of rainfall since Hurricane Harvey landed on 25 August, setting new records before it was downgraded to a tropical storm and, late on Wednesday, to a tropical depression. Even with the holiday and the portion of the pipeline closed, Ingram said drivers should not see prices above the $2.39-per-gallon mark.
Convenience store and gas station chain Circle K, a big buyer from Motiva, said the company was working with a limited supply.
Johnson County Sheriff Adam King said the sheriff's office has received calls sharing concerns about price gouging at area gas stations. Colonial is the second major fuel pipeline to close down in recent days. He explained refineries in Texas are simply underwater and shut down a portion of the pipeline until the water recedes.