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Hurricane Harvey drives up gas prices nationwide, local market spared for now

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Mon, Aug 28th 2017 02:10 pm
Editorial by AAA of Western and Central New York
As Hurricane Harvey blasted Texas, gas prices shot up across the country. At $2.37, today's national gas price average is 4 cents more expensive on the week and one of the largest one-week national gas prices surge seen this summer. Gas prices have not changed locally in the past week.
About one quarter of oil-refining capacity in the Gulf Coast had been taken offline, according to forecasts by Oil Price Information Service (OPIS). Harvey also caused eight refineries in Texas to shut down. Over the weekend, Valero reported its refineries in Corpus Christi and Three Rivers sustained "substantial refinery impacts," and the company is evaluating infrastructure needs to determine when the refineries can resume operations. Corpus Christi is connected via pipeline to refineries in San Antonio and Nixon, Texas, which can supply Corpus Christi if local refiners are offline for an extended period.
"No doubt, Harvey has impacted operations and access to refineries in the Gulf Coast. However a clear understanding of overall damage at the refineries is unknown," said Elizabeth Carey, AAA WCNY director of public relations. "Despite the country's overall oil and gasoline inventories being at or above five-year highs, until there is clear picture of damage and an idea when refineries can return to full operational status, gas prices will continue to increase. However, we in Western and Central New York have yet to feel the ripple effect."
On Sunday, Magellan Midstream Partners suspended all inbound and outbound refined products and crude oil transportation services on its pipeline systems in the Houston area. Conversely, the Colonial Pipeline said its Gulf Coast pipeline and terminals are continuing to operate normally. The Colonial Pipeline delivers gasoline from Houston to the Mid-Atlantic.
Harvey is expected to continue to impact the region through the middle of the week.
Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance. Locate gas prices across the country at http://gasprices.aaa.com.
AAA WCNY members can receive discounts at NOCO gas stations, as well as Fastrac locations. Learn more HERE. Find the lowest prices in your area at http://aaa.opisnet.com/index.aspx.
As upstate New York's largest member services organization, AAA provides nearly 860,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.

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