Oil drilling & refining have come to a halt.
Towson, Md. (KM). Hurricane Harvey is pounding the Texas Gulf Coast. Even though that’s more than 1,000 miles away from Maryland, the Free State could be affected.
AAA Mid-Atlantic says the storm has shut down refineries, led to the evacuation of oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico,and the suspension of petroleum shipments from that area. But spokeswoman Christine Delise says Maryland gets some of its gasoline from Texas. “Maryland does not rely on gasoline supplies from the Gulf Coast alone,” she says. “While some gasoline is shipped through the Colonial Pipeline from the Gulf Coast, the state also relies on shipments from the Delaware River Refineries and from abroad.”
But any disruption in the drilling and refinery of oil will affect gas prices. “We’ll just have to wait and see to what kind of damage this storm may have on equipment and operations in the area to really determine what impact we may see at the pump in Maryland,” Delise says.
Currently, AAA says the average price of filling up your vehicle in Maryland is $2.29 per gallon, a six-cent reduction from last week. In Frederick, the auto club says the average price is $2.26 per gallon, a one-cent drop from a week ago.
“We also have to keep in mind we have Labor Day Holiday Travel the following the weekend. And that usually results in an uptick in gasoline demand as everyone takes those last summer travel road trips,” Delise says. If Hurricane Harvey has a drastic affect on gasoline prices, she says that could lead to an increase in demand, and a decrease in supply, driving up prices.
In order to find the lowest price for gasoline in your community or the area where you’re traveling, AAA says you can go on line to AAA.com/fuelfinder. The auto club also has the AAA Gas Coast Calculator to help motorists budget their travel expenses (GasPrices.AAA.com/AAA-gas-cost-calculator.) There’s also Trip Tik Mobile (AAA.com/mobile) which helps driers plots fuel prices along their travel route.
By Kevin McManus