Gas prices are still rising, but the pace slows

An oil tank damaged by Hurricane Harvey is seen near Seadrift

The national average price for a gallon of regular jumped almost 7 cents to $2.59 a gallon on Saturday, according to AAA.

Retail gasoline prices are up 2.8 percent from Friday and up 16.7 percent from the average price a year ago.

Hurricane Harvey is wreaking havoc on oil operations in the Gulf Coast, and even states far from the storm's path are feeling its impact on the energy industry.

The U.S. now exports large amounts of gasoline, especially to Mexico and other parts of Latin America, and buyers there are competing with domestic distributors and bidding up prices.

"Don't worry, we will not run out", Abbott said, "and we will be back into our normal pattern before you know it".

"Everybody should count their blessings; it did not affect gasoline supply for the Tulsa area", said QT spokesman Mike Thornbrugh.

Much of North Dakota's oil travels to the Midwest on the pipelines, as does crude out of Colorado and Wyoming.

Drivers across the devastated Texas coastal region are encountering empty gas station pumps, high gas prices and increased consumption as we head into Labor Day weekend.

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In its latest update on Harvey, the U.S. Energy Department on Thursday said 10 Gulf Coast refineries were shut down and six had "begun the process of assessing damage and restarting, which may take several days".

"I'm going right by here, I might as well stop here and save 20 cents a gallon", Hubbard said. The release of oil reserves should help mitigate some of the immediate concerns regarding refinery production. Traders were also scrambling to redirect fuel to the United States. Crude inventories are 14.5 percent below record levels hit in March.

What's more, the vital Colonial Pipeline, a critical source of energy transportation from Houston to the Southeast, has been operating at reduced capacity.

Drivers must also ensure they have oversize load markers if they are hauling such a load, and must apply for a permit from the state, the order said. "The only fly in the ointment would be if some of that product is diverted to where they're not enjoying ample supplies such as in Lousiana, where they voluntarily shut down some refineries, reducing supply in that area".

Shrinking crude stocks and expectations for rising growth in global demand meant analysts in a monthly Reuters poll raised their oil price forecasts for the first time in six months.

Had the people of Dallas worked to conserve gas and only purchase more when they needed it, DeHaan said he thinks the city would have been able to "scrape by" until Houston's refineries were up and running again in coming days or weeks.

"I was just thinking about that, it jumped 30 or 40 cents a gallon", Daley said.



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