Word of gas shortages prompts run on Texarkana gas stations
ARKLATEX (KSLA) - Word of gas shortages in Dallas prompted a run on some gas stations in the Texarkana area Thursday.
While there is no evidence of a widespread or long-term shortage, some of the drivers who lined up at the EZ Mart on East Street Thursday afternoon said they had stopped at a few other places before finding a place to fill up there while others said they were there to fill up just in case.
Lines were also long and steady at the Raceway on Stateline Avenue, where the pumps did go dry around 3:30 p.m. Employees there indicated that a fuel delivery was expected later in the evening.
Harvey has left behind devastating flooding and damage in the Texas Gulf Coast that has elevated nationwide gas prices, and word of shortages in the Dallas area likely fueled the rush to the pumps in Texarkana.
As many as 15 refineries were shut down because of the hurricane. According to GasBuddy.com the closed refineries account for roughly 25 percent of U.S. refining capacity.
The largest refinery in the United States, located in Port Arthur, Texas, was among the shuttered Thursday. The Saudi-owned Motiva oil refinery is usually responsible for more than 600,000 barrels a day.
That likely prompted some of the run on gas reported in parts of Texas, "simply because there's more anticipation and maybe there might be a shortage and what people are filling up all their vehicles," said the President of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association Don Briggs.
"We've seen it happen before in past hurricane and storms when a refinery in both Texas and Louisiana were shut down. We're not anticipating that, but it is a possibility with potential flooding," Briggs said.
According to GasBuddy.com, Shreveport's average was around $2.21 per gallon as of Thursday afternoon.
According to AAA, Thursday's national prices reached the highest price average recorded for a gallon of unleaded gas so far this year on Thursday.
Combined with the numerous shutdowns of refineries and pipelines in the wake of Harvey, tightened access to supply levels in the Gulf and anticipated high gasoline demand surrounding Labor Day weekend, AAA warns that motorists may not have seen the full impact of Harvey at the pump.
"Overall, anticipating about a 20-percent increase in gasoline prices, at least for the short-term and short-term we're talking about weeks, and not months," said AAA's Don Redman.
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