Thursday, September 25, 2008

Gasoline Shortages

Where is our gasoline and diesel supply headed? Even before Ike hit, quite a few areas of the US were starting to see gasoline shortages. The impact of Ike could only make shortages worse. Most likely, it will take refineries at least a week or two to get production back to normal levels after a storm of this type, considering the impacts of electrical outages and flooding. In this article, I will examine some of the issues that seem to be involved. Based on my analysis, fuel supply shortages are likely to last well into October, and are likely to get considerably worse before they get better.
Until Colonial pipeline is back to carrying full capacity of gasoline, diesel, and other refined products, there are likely to be shortages along the gulf coast and the Southeast. The Northeast may also begin to see shortages.

Other major outages have also been reported. Explorer pipeline, carrying 700,000 barrels a day of petroleum products from Texas/LA to Indiana, is completely shut down. Plantation pipeline, carrying 600,000 barrels a day of petroleum products from Louisiana to Virginia, is operating at reduced rates. Implications of a ten day refinery outage.