With iced roadways and power outages across the state, Texans are finding it difficult to fuel up their vehicles.
According to GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis Patrick De Haan, there are three issues leading to the lack of gas availability:
- Stations without power don’t have working pumps.
- New fuel deliveries are delayed due to icy roads.
- About 20% of U.S. refineries are offline right now, a dozen of which are in Texas.
While there currently is not a shortage, the threat could arise if refineries don’t get back up soon, De Hann said.
With GasBuddy’s new “Gas Tracker” feature, Texans can help each other find operating gas stations nearby by reporting information such as fuel availability and prices within the app.
Here’s what else to know about the current fuel situation in Texas:
Is it essential to fill up?
“I wouldn’t say it’s essential to fill up... If everyone did, we’d see even more dramatic price increases. Just important to know and be prepared for a bump at the pump,” De Haan said.
How long could it be until new fuel deliveries are made?
“Fuel deliveries are being made 24/7, but trucks are likely moving slower due to the conditions and some stations may not be open to take deliveries as well,” De Haan said. “Before heading out if gasoline is required, motorists should check that stations around them have gas and report any outages via the GasBuddy app.”
What does it mean when a refinery is offline?
“It means it’s not refining oil into products like gasoline, diesel, or jet fuel. Oil must be refined to power vehicles that require gasoline. So it’s an immediate hit to gasoline supply,” De Haan said.
FOX Business reports that the catastrophe could impact the nation with rising gas prices coast-to-coast due to “extreme cold shutting millions of barrels per day in refinery capacity” in Texas.
“How much we ultimately see will depend on how quickly or slowly the affected refineries can get back online,” De Haan said according to FOX Business.
What does it take for the refineries to come back online?
“Likely a return to non-freezing temperatures. Cold weather can wreak havoc on refineries, which are exposed to the elements year-round. Then the process to restart them can begin - the process may take days or even a week,” De Haan said.
How can the GasBuddy app be useful during this time?
“Motorists can help each other by reporting stations that do or don’t have gasoline and power, making it easier to find fuel when needed instead of wasting fuel driving around,” De Haan said.