Gainesville, GA – September 5, 2017 – While refineries are still struggling to restart following the destruction of Harvey, Hurricane Irma is bringing a new threat. The storm was upgraded to a Category 5 today as it hurdles towards the Caribbean islands, where it’s expected to bring catastrophic destruction.
Current forecasts show the strom continuing west until north of Cuba, when it will curve sharply north into Florida and along the East Coast. How far west the storm will travel before shifting north is still unknown. Irma will likely be a Category 4 storm by the time it reaches Florida.
Florida’s governor has already declared a state of emergency and begun recommending evacuations in some areas. Mansfield has gone to Code Red for Florida, taking necessary precautions to keep customers supplied for the storm. Typically Mansfield reserves Code Red for the 24-hours before/after a major outage, but given extreme shortages throughout the region Code Red is a more appropriate depiction of supply.
Texas Market Updates
- Dallas: Diesel fuel is beginning to arrive in the market, but gasoline remains extremely tight. With the Motiva Port Arthur refinery still offline, expect supply tightness to continue.
- Houston: Terminals and refineries are coming back online, and suppliers are showing some optimism. Still, gasoline is tight and long lines at terminals are tying up freight capacity and slowing deliveries.
- San Antonio: Both gasoline and diesel are still extremely tight, being mostly provided by long hauls. A pipeline supplying the region has come back online, which will (somewhat) help supply the area later this week.
- Corpus Christi: Supply is continuing to improve, and is being shipped to other areas as necessary.
Southeast Market Update
- Colonial’s gasoline and diesel lines are both up and running now from Houston, bringing much needed supply into the Southeast. Unfortunately, product takes a long time to flow from the Gulf to SE states, and refiners who traditionally supply Colonial remain offline, limiting the volume and speed of deliveries. Diesel markets are tightening, and gasoline supply is extremely low. The next gasoline batch on Colonial will not ship until Sept 10.
- Adding to concerns, Irma may travel along the East Coast. While the path currently is unclear, the storm is expected to hit Florida and then may continue north along the East Coast. Florida’s fuel market is isolated from the rest of the Southeast, so fuel shortages there will not spread north, but if Irma brings destruction to markets north of FL, it could have a severe regional impact.
- Mansfield continues to work around the clock to help our customers fuel during the storm. If you have any questions or need to secure supply in the Gulf area or in the Southeast along the Colonial Pipeline, please reach out to your sales rep or customer relationship manager for more information about ordering product. Please place orders 48-72 hours in advance whenever possible, to allow time to secure supply and freight during the shortage.
Code Red (Areas with significantly reduced or unavailable supply)
- Austin, TX
- Beaumont, TX
- Buda, TX
- Dallas/Ft Worth, TX
- Houston, TX
- Port Arthur, TX
- San Antonio, TX
- Waco, TX
- Colonial Pipeline Markets (Mississippi through Maryland)
Code Orange (Areas with limited supply availability)
- Corpus Christi, TX
- Edinburgh, TX
- El Paso, TX
- Harlingen, TX
- Odessa, TX
- Lake Charles, LA
- Baton Rouge, LA