Mississippians won't see skyrocketing gas prices because of Tropical Storm Harvey according to an analyst. But, it will cost more to fill the tank.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 11 oil refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast are closed because of Hurricane Harvey. Harvey, which is now a Tropical Storm, has dumped a nearly 50 inches of rain on the Houston area as of Tuesday afternoon, breaking a previous record of 48 inches. Tom Kloza is with Oil Price Information Service. He says Harvey is temporarily interrupting the flow of gasoline from Texas to Mississippi, but no lasting damage to the supply chain has occurred.
"Most of your product comes via the Colonial Pipeline, which is sourced somewhere near Houston, and it maybe a little touch and go with that. But, you'll be fine. It'll just be more expensive for a matter of a few weeks," said Kloza.
Kloza predicts Mississippians will see gas prices rise 15 to 25 cents. University of Mississippi Professor of Economics Mark Van Boening says gas was creeping up a few cents because of a slight increase in oil prices. Boening says expect to start seeing the impact of Tropical Storm Harvey at the gas pump towards the weekend, into next week. Mississippi also has oil refineries that may help offset increases.
"There are other sources and so the question is how much of the gasoline that we won't be getting from the Texas Gulf can be provided from other refineries and distribution centers," said Boening.
According to AAA, on Monday, the state average price for a gallon of gas was $2.11 cents. yesterday it was $2.13. The automobile club expects prices to plateau in a couple of weeks and then begin to head downward.