October 31, 2012 North Myrtle Beach, SC – The pictures on the television screen is dire showing lots of flooding and devastation with homes, entire towns and roads underwater. The U.S Department of Energy reported that as of 9am October 31 there were 6,249,397 customers without power in the affected States, a decrease of 1,955,517 power outages.
Little is mentioned about the refineries, pipelines and petroleum terminals that were closed in the affected area. Refineries in the path of Sandy normally produce 1.7 million barrels per day. Their production is down to only 520,000 barrels per day. Of the 26 petroleum terminals in Sandy’s path only 5 are fully operating. Petroleum pipelines have also been affected with lines serving Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York harbor markets still closed.
To get an expert assessment, we contacted Patrick DeHaan of Gasbuddy.Com. “May be too early to call. But then this hurricane hit the Northeast and didn’t hit in the Gulf where a huge chunk of our production takes place. The refineries are picking up the pieces and it doesn’t look like doom and gloom. At this point I am not expecting a huge jump in prices. There may be some fluctuations here and there at individual stations. But still need to wait and see. The Energy Information Agency puts out their report every Wednesday. Next week we should get a better handle on what happened to inventories.”
Best bet – if you were planning on traveling to North Myrtle Beach, gas will be available and prices about normal.