Mississippi River Crest and Gasoline Prices

The Mississippi River crest continues to barrel downstream. That's raising fears about Louisiana's oil refineries and causing a fresh spike in gasoline prices. Andrew Schneider reports.


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Louisiana has roughly 2 ½ illion barrels a day of refining capacity, either adjacent to the Mississippi River or along potential spillways to divert floodwaters from urban areas.

Tim Evans, an energy analyst with Citigroup, says while there’s little risk of long-term disruptions to operations, oil traders are taking no chances.

“Nobody in the marketplace is going to assert that all is well.  Not until we see just how high the crest is going to be in Louisiana, not until that crest arrives, and we have some sense that at least some of these refineries have been able to sustain normal operations.”

Barbara Shook of the Energy Intelligence Group says that the U.S. has ample supply to weather a temporary shutdown of Louisiana’s refineries.

“Refineries nationally have been running about 90% of capacity, so we have room for increased throughput at a good many refineries throughout the country.”

NOAA map

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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