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article imageGas prices at the pump rise as Harvey comes ashore

By Karen Graham     Aug 25, 2017 in Business
Corpus Christi - Energy companies have been forced to shut down or temporarily evacuate oil and natural gas platforms and refining facilities in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Texas coast as Hurricane Harvey barrels ashore, possibly as a Category 3 storm.
The U.S. Gulf is home to almost 17 percent of the country's crude oil output, which currently stands at 9.5 million barrels a day, and almost 50 percent of the nation's refining capacity, according to the Energy Department.
As of Friday, the Port of Corpus Christie has been closed, and many major oil companies, including Royal Dutch Shell, Anadarko Petroleum, and ExxonMobil have taken steps to evacuate staff and curb some oil and gas output at platforms in the Gulf, reports the Financial Times.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, by Thursday evening, 39 of the 737 manned production platforms in the Gulf had been evacuated.
U.S. gasoline prices have risen almost 10 percent since Wednesday, coming in at a high of $1.47/gallon. U.S. light crude futures were up 10 cents at $47.53 a barrel on Thursday evening, while Brent crude rose 37 cents higher, reaching $52.41/barrel.
This map of the northern Gulf of Mexico shows the nearly 4 000 active oil and gas platforms.
This map of the northern Gulf of Mexico shows the nearly 4,000 active oil and gas platforms.
NOAA Ocean Explorer
The scaling back of production due to the hurricane is not expected to cause any great change in overall production. This has been taken care of by the increase in output by shale production further inland. The main concern right now is with possible damage to energy infrastructure.
Too much emphasis is being placed on the price of oil and natural gas in the wake of the hurricane, according to some experts. They point to the ample supply of crude oil globally despite the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) efforts to hold back production to prop up prices.
Part of the reason for the global glut has been the 13 percent increase in output by the U.S. since the middle of 2016 and production is not showing any signs of slowing, despite the hurricane.
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