According to reports by GasBuddy, over half of the gas stations in and around Baton Rouge and New Orleans are without gas this morning. Baton Rouge has increased its fuel outages to 62.4%, while New Orleans has increased to 63.4%. These outages come as the cities are trying to rebound from the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, which tore through the state and left massive amounts of damage.
Louisiana state officials are still saying that nearly half a million residents are without power in New Orleans alone due to the hurricane completely wiping out all eight of New Orleans ‘ electricity transmission towers. The state’s second-largest city, Baton Rouge, is also seeing large-scale outages with over 240,000 residents without power. While the state has dispatched over 25,000 electricity workers to the two cities, state officials warn that it could be weeks until full power is restored, possibly affecting refinery turnaround time from their loss of power as well. Lines of cars at fuel pumps have been getting dangerously out of hand, so much so that the National Guard was called on to keep the peace.
In other news, OPEC+ met yesterday to discuss their production policies. They agreed that adding 400,000 bpd to the market would be enough for now, even though Washington is calling for more to combat the rising cost of fuel in the United States. OPEC+ also said yesterday that they would raise their 2022 demand forecast, all while facing much pressure from the Biden administration to continue increasing output. The question for oil prices now lies in whether the post-pandemic economic recovery will be enough to change the course of prices heading into the later parts of the year.