Posted in: Gas Prices,
by Patrick DeHaan on Sep 9, 2012 02:00 PM
Issac is long gone, but the impact left behind- the lost production due to outages- is still being felt. Gasoline prices have remained stubbornly high as gasoline stockpiles fell to their lowest since 2008, according to Bloomberg.
Restarts have been slow, gasoline production has remained weak, supporting higher prices. In addition, plant closures in the United Kingdom in the weeks ahead may limit how much gasoline is received along the East Coast, so supply may remain tight for several weeks. To offset that news, however, Monroe Energy, a subsidiary of Delta Airlines, will be starting it's purchased Trainer, PA refinery again, helping boost production along the East Coast.
As of about 72 hours ago, three refineries were still shut because of the hurricane, and six were still operating at reduced rates. In data reported by the EIA, Gulf Coast refineries saw production drop to a paltry 82.2% of capacity, compared to 91.4% a week earlier.
Stockpiles in PADD1, the East Coast, stand 6.6% below their year ago level, leading to tight gasoline supply.
As a result of lost time due to the storm, gasoline prices may continue to remain at elevated levels for several weeks as refineries begin maintenance and supply is slow to rise. Real relief may not hit pumps until mid-to-late September. Gasoline prices are expected to bottom out between Thanksgiving and Christmas.