Gasoline price dips as U.S. refineries prepare to reopen after Harvey

Energy Sec. Perry Taps US Petroleum Reserves

Energy Sec. Perry Taps US Petroleum Reserves

The average gas price in Georgia is $2.51, a 28 cent jump since last Friday when Harvey came ashore. It returned as a storm to hit Louisiana on Wednesday, forcing the shutdown of the biggest US refinery, owned by Motiva Enterprises LLC in Port Arthur, Texas.

Hurricane Harvey cut USA refining capacity to the lowest level since 2008 after its initial strike on the Texas coast late last week.

Lubbock will likely not see as serious of an impact as other areas.

On Thursday, U.S. gasoline hit a two-year high above $2 a gallon.

Early Wednesday, Motiva said it started closing its Port Arthur refinery "in response to increasing local flood conditions".

The U.S. air travel system is heading into the holiday weekend with one arm tied behind its back, with a surge of Labor Day travelers taking to the skies while Houston's busy airports remain hobbled from Hurricane Harvey.

In South Carolina, the cost of unleaded gasoline averaged to $2.38 per gallon by Friday morning, up 12 cents from Thursday.

More than 30 percent of the United States gasoline refinery capacity is shut down because of Harvey.

By then, analysts say some of the Gulf refineries should be back online and ports opened up, helping provide certainty to an industry where so much can be rattled by a force of nature.

Croft said the US government has other tools it can use to get supplies to different parts of the country and ease any supply problems. "So I have a little lifeline", Luchtman said.

While Azanza's organization has received notices of fuel outages from some of its Austin members, he said the situation appeared to be worse in the Dallas area, where reports of long lines and empty pumps were more widespread. It's among several Southern states that are heavily reliant on the Colonial Pipeline for deliveries of gasoline. Labor Day is traditionally a high-demand period for gas, as motorists fuel up for road trips on the unofficial last weekend of summer.

The SPR, established in the early 1970s after the Arab oil embargo caused widespread fuel supply panics, contains 679 million barrels of oil, enough to meet total USA needs for 33 days, in heavily guarded underground caverns on the Texas and Louisiana coasts. Already, the Texas Railroad Commission - the state agency that regulates the oil and gas industry - is working to speed recovery efforts in the sector.

In Brazil, state-controlled oil company Gasolineeo Brasileiro SA has hiked gasoline and diesel prices twice for September to match spikes in USA prices caused by Harvey.

However, there are still many unknowns, according to AAA, including how soon all of the refineries may be able to return to full operational status.

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