Several oil refineries in Texas have been shut down temporarily as Harvey continues to ravage the state.
Ten oil refinery plants around Houston and Corpus Christi are shutting down, according to a report by S&P Global Platts released Sunday.
Together these plants have the capacity to refine about 2.2 million barrels per day. Among the companies cited in the report as shutting down refineries are ExxonMobil, Valero, Citgo, Shell, and Philips 66.
Corpus Christi area refineries were shut down ahead of the storm, while the Houston area refineries were shut down Sunday due to flooding, according to S&P Global Platts.
The storm has, so far, shut down one quarter of oil production from the Gulf of Mexico, according to multiple reports. Some analysts argue this shutdown might offset excess US oil capacity, and could temporarily push up oil and gasoline prices.
“In the near term, bank on higher oil and gasoline prices until refining facilities and other petroleum infrastructure are back in operation,” Greg McBride, the chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com said.
“After that, oil prices will settle back into the familiar $US45-$US50 range we’ve seen in recent months.”
WTI crude oil, the US benchmark, was down by 2.4% at $US51.40 at 10:26 a.m. ET. US gasoline futures, meanwhile, were up 5% early Monday after spiking by as much as 7%.
As of Monday morning, Harvey was classified a tropical storm with maximum winds of 40 mph, but Houston is preparing for as much as another two feet of rain in the coming days.
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