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Hurricane fuels spike in Greater Lowell gas prices

Hurricane fuels spike in Greater Lowell gas prices

On Thursday, Energy Secretary and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry approved the release of 500,000 barrels of crude oil to prevent fuel shortages and a spike in gas prices, the Associated Press reported.

The gasoline supply issues could reduce inventories on the East Coast, causing prices to rise further, Zachary Rogers, a refining and oil products analyst at Wood Mackenzie Ltd., told Bloomberg.

Hurricane Harvey has disrupted oil refineries along the Gulf Coast, sending gas prices soaring.

But on Thursday, gas prices reached their highest level in more than a year and kept on climbing Friday.

The releases, the first of which was announced on Thursday morning, were exchange agreements, meaning the government will loan crude to Phillips 66, which is required to replace the oil at a later date.

The last time the national average gas price rose to $2.50 a gallon was around Labor Day in 2015, AAA said.

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Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton said consumers are putting undue demand on fuel and that's making it hard to resupply gas stations in a timely fashion.

Nearly one-third of the oil refineries in the USA south went offline when Harvey blew through Texas as a hurricane.

"On the positive side, AAA does not expect Gulf refineries to be offline for months, as early reports indicate minimal to no significant damage to Corpus Christi and Houston refineries". [EIA/S] Crude inventories fell by 5.4 million barrels in the week to August 25, compared with analysts' expectations for an decrease of 1.9 million barrels.Gasoline stocks rose by 35,000 barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.0 million-barrel drop.

At least two major pipelines - one that ships gasoline across the southern U.S.to NY, and another that runs to Chicago - have seen oil flows slowed or stopped since Harvey struck the Gulf of Mexico. Officials hoped to resume normal flow by Sunday, but meanwhile, the threat of shortages had people running to top off their tanks, even if their gauges weren't on empty.

"The shut downs do not indicate a shortage of gasoline supplies in the Gulf Coast region or across the country", added Casselano. Congress created it in 1975 amid fears the Arab oil embargo could cause long-term spikes in motor fuel prices that harmed the US economy. He called the problem simply one of demand and logistics. Germain said to gas station attendant Cory Walker.

Benchmark U.S. gasoline prices were more than 26 percent higher on the week, and the premium of front-month contract to the second month hit a almost five-year high.

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