Gas prices may see a storm surge if Barry sticks to predictions.
The states that line the Gulf of Mexico are home to more than 45 percent of the total petroleum refining capacity in the country, along with 51 percent of total US natural gas processing capacity.
Energy companies shut down and evacuated their rigs in the northern part of the Gulf ahead of the storm, Reuters reported. And while most major refineries were expected to stay in operation as Barry lashes the area, the heavy rains forecast to drench the region through Sunday could create havoc.
Much of Louisiana is forecast to get 20 or more inches of rain this weekend, with up to 2 inches an hour predicted for some areas. Coastal areas are also expecting a storm surge of up to 6 feet.
“Just look at what happened to Washington, DC, Monday,” Dr. Philip K. Verleger, owner and president of energy and commodity markets consultant PKVerleger LLC, told AccuWeather. “If you get too much rain, soil gives way. If soil gives way under a pipeline, you’ve got a leak and have to shut down the pipeline.”
Refined products sent from the Gulf Coast via pipeline are crucial for the East Coast. If refineries or the Colonial Pipeline complex that stretches from Houston to New York Harbor get shut down, that could cause supply issues, and prices could start to rise.
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