Gas stations are running out of fuel in major Texas cities after Hurricane Harvey shut down pipelines and refineries along the Gulf Coast, the Houston Chronicle reports.
While gas supplies are tight, the fuel shortage is mainly due to a widespread panic causing drivers to flood gas stations before the pumps go dry. The shortage may have been largely prevented if drivers had continued filling their vehicles as normal, according to CNN.
“I don’t think motorists realize the power is in their hands. Patience is a virtue. Motorists are going to have to wait for supplies and prices to return to normal. Try to buy only what you need,” GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan told the Houston Chronicle.
Gas prices in Texas rose 21 cents in a week, with nearly half of that increase coming between Thursday and Friday. Gas prices nationally could hit as high as $2.75 a gallon.
“There’s a worry now that most of the Texas refineries could be compromised for weeks rather than days,” Oil Price Information Service chief oil analyst Tom Kloza told CNN.
Gas prices could spike as much as 50 cents in the area and 40 cents nationally as the U.S. oil and gas industry struggles to meet the demand, the Houston Chronicle reports.
“It’s the worst-possible scenario,” Dehaan said. “It’s beyond even my worst-case concerns.”
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