Refineries were closed, pipelines shut down, tankers held out to sea. Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help Gulf Coast refiners deal with local supply disruptions are expected to further depress oil prices. However, while this should be beneficial for crude prices, the fact is that much of the production is off-shore, and likely to come back on track in the near future.
Gas prices all over the country, including Delmarva, are surpassing what analysts predicted. But there have been reports of chemical leaks and pollutant spillages, while clean-up and fix from Harvey to energy infrastructure could take months and cost billions.
Market focus was also being drawn to Hurricane Irma, a record Category 5 storm, which is heading towards important shipping lanes in the Caribbean.
Losses in USA supply capability have catapulted retail prices to their highest levels since August 2015, but remain well below initial weeks of September 2011 through 2014, according to OPIS. Chief Executive Officer Tim Dove expects oil prices to remain rangebound through 2018, according to remarks he made at a NY energy conference on Wednesday.
There is also another tropical storm on Irma's heels. Recently new facilities have been built quickly, to take advantage of the shale boom.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott estimated damage at $150-billion to $180-billion, calling it more costly than Hurricanes Katrina or Sandy, which hit New Orleans in 2005 and NY in 2012. Couple that with the demand destruction that we have seen in Texas it would have a major downside compact on price. So, the supply-demand model isn't at work here. Yet, that spread is coming back as US refiners are trying to come back. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. sees half of shut USA refinery capacity back by September 7. This was before the full effects of the storm were felt.
In the short-term, fear of further weather events could have an impact on inventories.
In the wake of the Shale Revolution in the US, the ports of Texas and Louisiana have become some of the most vital in the world for global energy security.
"Oil markets this week will continue to be a weather market", Switzerland-based consultant Petromatrix said in an emailed report.
In other news, this week's reports have all been pushed back a day due to Monday's US bank holiday.
Traders booked dozens of gasoline tankers over the past week from Asia and Europe to the United States and Latin America in order to plug supply shortages in the wake of the shutdowns.
However, the impacts of Harvey have yet to be fully realized.