Tracking gas supply in Texas after Harvey

Tracking gas supply in Texas

Thursday's panic at the pump has become less frantic Friday as more gas stations got new shipments of fuel. But does it mean the worst is behind us in terms of Hurricane Harvey related gas shortages?

That all depends on who you talk to. Most experts say the panic-driven gas shortage was a one-day event. But most add the supply disruption will continue for at least a few more days. Just 24-hours after the angel of the of apocalypse cast her shadow over north Texas, creating chaos and plunder at the pump, the gas gods returned to proclaim great tidings of joy, that supplies were just fine. 

"We are going to be able to add additional stores with fuel on a daily basis," said Quick Trip Spokesman Mike Thornbrugh. "We really hope to have all the stores supplied in the near future."

But remember, Thornbrugh is the gas god of Quick Trip. Those lording over the pumps at Valero and Tom Thumb and many other retail gas companies weren't so quick to respond with a plentiful supply. Pumps are largely still not functioning. Therefore much of the citizenry spent its day still in search of the elusive nectar of mobility.

"I'm a pest control, exterminator, so I've been doing a lot of driving, searching maybe about two hours," said Quailton Sanders.

I caught up with Sanders at the Rayyan Exxon near I-45 and Illinois in Dallas. No one who was waiting in a line about eight cars seemed desperate or anxious. And in contrast to 24-hours ago, the scene was serene.

And while gas was available, the retail store operator, aware of his considerable leverage, had upped his price to $3.39 a gallon.

Drivers I talked to were not happy about the inflated price, up from just $2.19 per gallon just three days ago. But we are by no means out of the woods. Most of the refineries that shut down along the Texas gulf coast are still offline and that translates into an interruption of about 16-percent of the nation's gas production.

That means pipelines out of Port Arthur and Houston won't have much of a refined petroleum product flow for several more days and we are entering a holiday weekend.

And while some suppliers are getting product from other sources, expect continued shortages and inflated prices for at least another week.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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