Oil falls after Harvey floods U.S. refineries

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Oil falls after Harvey floods U.S. refineries

The Texas Attorney General's Office advised any motorists seeing gas prices of $4 or higher to report the stations as price-gougers.

The average US price for regular gasoline at the pump rose 7 cents Thursday to $2.519 a gallon, the steepest single-day increase since April 5, 2007, according to data from AAA, the largest USA motoring group. North Carolina prices jumped 11 cents overnight and are up 27 cents over the last week.

Kloza noted the national average price for a gallon could get as high as $2.75.

As of Wednesday evening, the Department of Energy (DOE) is reporting that 10 Gulf Coast refineries remain shut down.

As of Thursday afternoon, 10 refineries representing 16.6 percent of daily US refining capacity were shut down, according to the Department of Energy.

But the era of cheap gas likely isn't over - prices are expected to quickly go back down once Gulf Coast refineries go back online, Kloza said.

He also forecast a six-cent spike in gas prices in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, to $1.459 per litre.

Colonial expects to resume activity in Houston beginning on Sunday.

"Prices go up around the major holidays, and to prevent damage to refineries and pipelines because of Hurricane Harvey". The contract for October delivery, which ended trading on Thursday, closed up $1.52, or 2.99 percent, at $52.38 a barrel.

A gallon (3.8 liters) of gasoline rose 13.5 percent in NY on Thursday to close at $2.1399, leaving it up almost 30 percent since Friday, the day Harvey made landfall in Texas.

The nationwide average right now, she said, is $2.40 per gallon.

Oil rigs along the Gulf Coast have had to stay shut down since Harvey's arrival early Saturday.

More refinery closures could come as the storm has made landfall in Louisiana, which has 3.3 million barrels of refining capacity. On Thursday, Colonial Pipeline shut down a crucial artery in the nation's fuel supply network that provides more than 3 million barrels of diesel, gasoline and jet fuel daily to major cities from Houston to NY.

He said Marathon and Valero refineries in Texas City are on stream and ramping up operations, as is the Houston Valero refinery.

The prices will ultimately depend on when refineries and pipelines are up and running again. James Williams of WTRG Economics pointed out that the oil would produce around half a million barrels of gasoline-enough to fuel the nation's cars for an hour and 15 minutes.

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