After Ike

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 — 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.

In the meantime, is an excellent resource for following Ike. This webcam is mounted in an SUV patrolling the region.

  • Just in time for my one long driving trip of the year )to the Badlands.)


    I was hoping for a decrease in prices after Labor Day. No such luck.

  • GregS


    Gas prices don’t rise and fall due to small fluctuations of supply/

    Everyone knows that.

    Were we not lectured endlessly by the media about how the Republican plan to provide more oil from offshore drilling and ANWR will have no effect what so ever on the price of gas?

    According to dogma – Ike will have no effect.

  • Bob Collins

    It’s interesting to me that gas stations change the price on gasoline that’s already in the tank. I wonder what would happen if they changed the price based on the delivery cost of that gasoline instead of the cost to replace it. Would it make it easier for us to take advantage of price fluctuations either by filling up prematurely or extending a fillup knowing that the price was going to drop?

  • brian

    “According to dogma – Ike will have no effect.”

    I believe the reason gas prices are going up in this case is that a large percentage of the gas in this country is refined directly in Ike’s path. Oil prices are staying pretty steady, or dropping.

    “It’s interesting to me that gas stations change the price on gasoline that’s already in the tank.”

    I guess this is an opportunity for gas stations to make up for the low margins on selling gas.