Oil prices turn lower as Harvey flooding weighs

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Gasoline prices in the USA have risen to new high amid continuing fears of shortages in Texas and other states after Hurricane Harvey's strike. The record-setting storm barreled through the production chain that makes it possible for drivers all over the country to fuel up, from offshore oil platforms to gasoline pipelines. That translates to about 75 cents USA per gallon, he said, adding typical U.S. increases in affected states have been only about 20 cents per gallon. Prices in Lexington were just above that, sitting at $2.49 a gallon, but on Thursday afternoon spiked to $2.69. "So, we hopped in the auto and came and filled up".

Harvey also shuttered about 23% of US refining capacity with multiple refineries in Houston, Port Arthur, Texas and Beaumont.

Gasbuddy.com reported a two-cent hike in the average Canadian price on Friday to nearly $1.18 per litre.

"There are no supply issues there in Texas, it's more of a concern for the East Coast given the disruption of the Colonial Pipeline", he added. The Colonial Pipeline, which ferries gasoline, diesel and other fuels to the East Coast, remains open from Lake Charles, through Baton Rouge and onward east.

There have already been reports of gas prices in Texas more than doubling, and in at least one case reaching $8 a gallon. The lines remain down from Houston to Hebert, Texas near the Louisiana border.

Additionally, the Department of Energy released 500,000 barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to offset the lack of supply from the Gulf Coast. The surges are in response to the flooding caused in Texas by Harvey.

Harvey is on track for several more days of torrential rains
S&P Global Platts Harvey is on track for several more days of torrential rains

Motor fuel prices slipped 2.3 percent in NY on Friday amid signs some U.S. Gulf refineries are preparing to restart operations. That jump comes just ahead of the Labor Day holiday weekend, which typically sees heavy driving.

"We don't have enough supply in Canada and that's an argument I've made for some time", he said.

To be sure, there are always unknowns.

The longer the distance gas has to travel to you, the more pain you see at the pump.

"We heard there was going to be a shortage", one driver told CBS Dallas-Fort Worth.

"Price gouging and running out of gas should not be a problem".

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