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Hurricane Harvey Causing Wisconsin Gas Prices To Rise

Analysts Say State Will Miss Steepest Spikes

person at the gas pump
Jessica Hill/AP Photo

Gas prices are rising after Hurricane Harvey shut down a number of south Texas oil refineries. But Wisconsin gas prices aren’t likely to rise as much as the national average.

According to energy analytics firm IHS, Harvey knocked nearly all oil refineries along the Texas coast offline. Tom Kloza, the firm’s global head of energy analysis, said many are restarting but local electric outages could keep some refineries from hitting full capacity for a couple weeks. Kloza said this is driving up wholesale gasoline prices, which in turn will drive up consumer prices.

“I’m looking at a likely sort of stopping point or peaking action somewhere between $2.60 and $2.75 a gallon nationally, which would be the highest prices of the year,” Kloza said.

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While Texas refineries don’t supply Wisconsin with gas, the southern demand for fuel will mean less supply for the Midwest as pipelines are rerouted to supply areas without local production capacity.

“And that’s where the pricing impact comes in. As that starts to make unconventional moves we start to see pressure at the pump as well because our supply may be going to those areas,” said Patrick DeHaan, an analyst at Gasbuddy.com.

DeHaan estimates Wisconsin prices could go up another 5 to 10 cents per gallon before the market stabilizes.

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