Power returning slowly to refineries, but price impact still uncertain

HOUSTON (AP) - Gasoline prices have spiked even as power was restored today to more refineries along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Ike.

Industry officials said it may be several weeks before the nation's refining capacity is restored.

At least 14 Texas refineries closed before Hurricane Ike made landfall early Saturday at Galveston -- removing more than 20 percent of the nation's petroleum refining capacity.

The storm destroyed at least one dozen production platforms and drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, and production is still shut down in the critical region.

-- Valero Energy says it's regained limited power at two of three shuttered facilities - in Houston and Texas City. Its plant in Port Arthur remains closed.

-- Exxon Mobil says electricity has been restored at its refinery in Bay City, east of Houston, and it's preparing to resume operations.

-- ConocoPhillips says its Lake Charles, Louisiana, refinery is operating at reduced rates.

-- Royal Dutch Shell says 40 percent of Shell-branded gas stations in the Houston and Beaumont areas -- are open.

-- Magellan Midstream Partners says its Galena Park terminal in the Houston Ship Channel flooded from storm surge and its terminal in East Houston also was damaged.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)