The devastation that is provoking Harvey as it passes through the Gulf of Texas has also affected the production of gasoline in the southern United States. The country’s largest refinery, located in Port Arthur and with a daily production of 600,000 barrels of fuel, is still closed and 23% of the country’s entire refining capacity has been paralyzed since the hurricane – already turned into a tropical storm – , hit the ground a week ago.
The fall in production has triggered the price of future contracts for unleaded gasoline – in the absence of a process to become the gasoline that is available at the supplier. Despite having a lower tax pressure than in Europe, filling a vehicle’s tank has risen by about 28% since last Monday to $ 2.09 a gallon. It did not see such a high price since June 2015. In addition, only over the course of Wednesday to Thursday, fuel prices rose 12.6%, according to Bloomberg data.
Refined products in the United States have revalued about 51.6% since the lows of the year, which were recorded in June. Facilities near Houston, Beaumont and Port Arthur continue to be paralyzed by flooding, and cannot send fuel fast enough through the Colonial Pipeline, the pipeline linking the Texas capital with New York Harbor – a 5,500 kilometers that feeds the day to day of the Americans.
The refineries most hit by the hurricane a few days ago in the Corpus Christi area, about 400 miles west of Houston, are trying to resume their activity. The federal government recently authorized the use of half a million barrels of crude oil from the Louisiana Strategic Oil Reserve as part of an “emergency exchange” with Phillips 66 at the company’s refinery in Lake Charles, Louisiana, to where the storm has been directed, reports Dallas News.
The West Texas barrel was close to $47.25 at the end of this year, and accumulated a decline of 1.31% over the week due to lower refinery consumption. Meanwhile, the barrel of Brent lost a thin 0.19% from the close of session on Friday, to reach 52.31 dollars.
Traders have reserved twenty oil tankers to transport fuel from Europe to the United States since Harvey landed August 26, according to Bloomberg reports. The increased hustle and bustle in gasoline markets has caused supply problems.