Hurricane Harvey : Petrol shortage hits America, fuel prices go up

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionHarvey's path and rain from Monday into Tuesday

Gas prices that have been rising in the Triangle all week are poised to go higher after the pipeline that supplies most of the fuel to North Carolina was shut down Thursday because of damage to oil refineries on the Gulf Coast. Colonial is the second major fuel pipeline to close down in recent days.

"Once Colonial is able to ensure that its facilities are safe to operate and refiners in Lake Charles and points west have the ability to move product to Colonial, our system will resume operations", the statement reads.

"We now estimate that we will be able to return to service from Houston on Sunday, following an evaluation of our infrastructure and successful execution of our start up plan", a Colonial release states. It resulted not only in surging prices, but in lines at gas stations in Tennessee, where some stations' tanks ran dry.

In Dallas, lines of cars a block long were common for the few gas stations that had gasoline to sell Thursday. And according to Patrick DeHaan, of Gas Buddy, it's not over yet.

Harvey, the strongest storm to hit the US since 2004, is throwing the energy market into disarray, leading to multiple refinery shutdowns in the Port Arthur, Beaumont and Houston areas, as plants further west restart. Today's average gasoline price in the Washington metro area is ten cents higher than it was a week ago.

Mexico's state-run oil company Pemex remained a key buyer, booking several more cargoes in Europe and Asia. "There's a logistics issue".

The closures rattled global fuel markets, and European and Asian traders diverted millions of barrels of gasoline and diesel to the Americas to help fill that gap. "We've seen this happen before with problems with Katrina".

Filling fuel tanks is becoming increasingly hard in parts of Texas where some stations were out of gas and pump costs have risen steeply. Sitton encouraged them to take note of any suspected hikes.

The website GeorgiaGasPrices.com allows users to report prices at stations throughout the city. "If you price gouge anybody, you could be subject to penalties of up to $25,000 per incident".

Refineries serving Chicago have not yet hinted about fuel shortages, said Mario Orlandi, an operations manager at Olson Service Co, which supplies diesel and gasoline to the area.

Tulsa-based QuikTrip Corporation (QT), which serves all of North Texas, is working to stay ahead of the curve and keep select locations stocked with gas.

Russia's exports of ULSD from the Baltic Sea port of Primorsk are expected to fall sharply in September by 35.8 percent on a daily basis to 770,000 tonnes from 1.240 million tonnes planned for August due to large seasonal refineries' maintenance, trading sources familiar with the loading schedule said on Friday. "That's the big unknown".

"The speed at which our system is running is lower but the system is running and supply is making it to the market, just at a slower pace", said Buster Brown, Colonial's director of scheduling and shipper relations.

The U.S. disruptions have hit wholesalers.

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