Expert Says Gas Prices Likely Won't Be Affected By Florence

Sep 13, 2018

Hurricane Florence winds
Credit NOAA National Hurricane Center

Summertime gas prices tickled $3.00 a gallon this year, led mostly by a cut in production by OPEC nations hoping to bring low crude oil prices up.

Another key to gas prices in the Northwoods is something impacting  gas refineries. This happens each year as refineries get shut down for maintenance, resulting is less gasoline being produced.

But with a large hurricane hitting the Carolinas, it might be easy to assume that a major weather event will result in higher gas prices.

Not so fast,  says Senior Petroleum Analyst for the website  Patrick DeHaan. He says hurricanes roaring onto land in the Gulf coast states create refinery problems, but not this time with an Atlantic hurricane…

“…Everything is a little different this time around. Hurricane Florence is not putting at risk any refinery capacity. That’s what happened during Hurricane Harvey, which led to a shutdown of about a third of the nation’s refining capacity. With Florence we’re not talking about any shutdowns at all. Thankfully, supply is not disrupted and that is why gas prices will not be impacted by Florence….”

DeHaan says the impact of a Gulf of Mexico hurricane is immediately felt at the pump, especially is the storm hits the Texas and Louisiana coast…

“..It’s really the Texas-Louisiana coast that is worrisome for me from a gas price perspective. Those areas are very sensitive. So, too, is the New York City-Philadelphia area as there are some refineries that way. It all depends when a refinery is at risk. You’re talking about a fundamental shift in supply at that point…”

Dehaan says gas prices will eventually fall due to lower autumn demand and a switch to cheaper winter gasoline which begins this weekend.