Hurricane Ike has come ashore in Texas and done its thing. Now, the rest of the country waits for answers for two questions: (1) Is everybody OK? and (2) Will the price of gasoline go up?
The largest oil refinery on the continent is in Galveston and it’s shut down. Later today, inspectors will take a look at it to see how soon it can be restarted.
The Oil Drum Web site has been trying to estimate the effect at the pump based on the shutdown and damage. It has a Flash map which shows Ike’s path, and what was in its way. The red area below shows area of damage.
All of the icons are some facet of the oil infrastructure. The area produces 6 percent of the world supply.
The Twin Cities’ gas prices are already heading up, according to twincitiesgasprices.com — about 3.5 cents locally since Friday and about 8 cents nationally.
Update It appears the major gas stations have increased prices 30-40 cents a gallon today.
It’s worse in other parts of the country where drivers rushed to fill up their cars, figuring there’d be a gasoline shortage.
Some gas stations in the southeast raised their prices by more than $1 a gallon, although much of that was because of the panic more so than the law of supply and demand.
Until the wind and the fear subsides, we won’t know for sure how much Ike is going to hurt.