Gas panic?

Dec 4, 2003
The gas stations here in Palestine, Texas have been mobbed all evening. They are doing about 4x the business I usually see. I was at Kroger topping off the tank and the guy at the pump next to me was filling up two 5 gal containers. This is not the kind of thing I saw before Katrina (or even after).

Seeing what I saw today tells me price jumps tomorrow, or shortages.

The only other explanation is these gas station observations were along US 287, which is a feeder route from Beaumont to Dallas. The northbound traffic was quite a bit heavier than I've ever seen it, so if you're all not seeing clogged gas stations, maybe I'm just seeing localized fillups from people fleeing the coast.

What are the pumps doing in your town?

We're fine in South Dakota, at least in the southeast. I filled up this morning at $2.57 (down from a high of $3.39) and was the only one at the station. We've been keeping all of our vehicles above a half tank at all times since Katrina anyway.
Originally posted by Bill Hamilton
Where I live it is still $2.49 while up in OKC, OK It is as high as $3.49 so far according to
I can see it taking a big jump tomorrow in most all areas.

The >$3.20/ga reports were all from the same person, and all are 10-20% higher than the next higher stations... So, I highly doubt the accuracy of those reports. Otherwise, in OUN, prices are around $2.40/ga... I filled up on Monday at $2.34/ga at the Albertson's on Alameda and 12th.

EDIT: Many "experts" also predicted $4-$5 gas after Katrina... I agree that we could end up higher than Katrina depending upon how many rigs and refineries are impacted, but I'm skeptical of any estimate >$4.20/ga. I suppose it'll probably be highly localized, so there may be some TX stations that get above that mark, while some other stations (such as those in CA, which I heard receives no oil from the Gulf) see relatively minor price rises.
One of the 24 hour news had an interview with someone and he mentioned we could see $4 to $5 a gallon. This will spread and make everyone panic and cause a shortage which will make everyone raise the price even faster worried about when they will get their next tanker.... imo
Milwaukee Metro is hovering around $2.65/gal (+/- $0.10) due to the BS reformulated gas for the tree-huggers.

It's been steadily falling for the last week, contrary to the rise in oil prices, which leads me to believe we had some heavy duty price gouging that has finally been mitigated.

Since my car and the's truck are both V8 gas hogs, I'll be filling up tomorrow and monitoring the situation from there. I was tempted to get 15-20 gallons in reserve after Katrina, but prices leveled out and we suffered no shortages. This may not be the case this time, however :?
You guys get it cheap ... in CT you can't find it any lower than $2.79 ...

No change in gas prices yet ... but I'm sure the big giant oil companies want to make billions in profits this year for no reason only to satisfy their tastes of American poverty ...
Here we go again....

Direct quote from

\"We could be looking at gasoline lines and $4 gas, maybe even $5 gas, if this thing does the worst it could do,\" said energy analyst Peter Beutel of Cameron Hanover. \"This storm is in the wrong place. And it's absolutely at the wrong time,\" said Beutel.
This is why I topped off 2 days ago. I'm lucky though because I drive very little, and around town I use my Honda scooter.
The pumps here have small lines, usually two or three cars per pump. They are the best we have seen them since about 3 days before Katrina. The current price is $2.55/gal. The lines at one point were over a 1/4 of a mile at every gas station with no gas. The only way you could fill up the first week after Katrina was to pick a gas station that you wanted to spend the night at and hope they got a tanker in by the morning. Many people waited 12-16 hours and never got gas. I talked to one guy that waited 10 hours at one station and they announced they would not have another tanker in for 3 days. He then went to another station (the only one that never ran out of gas) and waited for 16 hours. He didn't have a choice since he drove around looking for gas until he had none left. If you live SE Tx and need gas after the storm then you are much better off driving about 3 hours to go to a town or city that will have gas than to wait in line. It will also give you a much needed break from boredom, heat, no electricity and you can pick up other needed stuff.
Just filled up my tank of my neon @$2.51/gl in southeast missouri. That should hold me for two weeks 8)
Yes, we can all agree that gas prices are going to go up. The real panic is going to be for those million plus people sitting on the interstates around Houston. Just heard that FEMA is moving gasoline tankers into rest areas on the interstates. I have no idea how that is going to work.
Gas prices are holding here, if you can find gas. $2.62-$2.69gal.
Few stations and many out looking, even at midinght last night it was gridlock due to folks lining up on word that possibly some gas was coming in a few hours.
Totally nuts out here in Katy. I am down to half a tank, just staying home, doing final preparations and getting ready to hunker...but it looks like my future is getting brighter with each model run. :D
It's up thirty cents per gallon in Fort Worth this evening. Two days ago it was $2.49. I just filled up at the same station for $2.79. Several cars in line for each pump.

I live right on US 287 just south of Fort Worth. At 7pm, when all the traffic is usually southbound, the northbound traffic is solid cars in both lanes.
OIl refineries in the right quad of Rita's forecast path.

ExxonMobil Refining & Supply Co. (Beaumont @ 348,500 BCD)
Motiva Enterprises LLC (Port Arthur @ 285,000 BCD)
Premcor Refining Group Inc. (Port Arthur @ 255,000 BCD)

Calcasieu Refining Co. (Lake Charles @ 30,000 BCD)
Citgo Petroleum Corp. (Lake Charles @ 324,300 BCD)
ConocoPhillips (Westlake @ 239,400 BCD)

Projected oil & gas production losses (not good, market commentators suggesting at least the possibility of natural gas shortages this winter)

The surge looks REAL ugly here:
some of the shortages at least here in East Texas I think comes from the lemming effect. Some of the folks surely filled up because they thought the price would rise, others might think we'll run out (I mean run out, not just the temporary outage from others running on gas).... but because they simply saw a large crowd at the gas station.

Fear and panic spreads quickly, and it doesn't require word-of-mouth. Like moths drawn to a fire.

I have a suspicion that, while the price may be a little higher, the crowds may actually be a bit less at, say, noon tomorrow, than noon today. We shall see.

Also, something that gets me is the run on bottled water here, especially with most of those people on city water after the utility said even a full power failure would still only reduce the production capacity to a level that is plenty to serve everyone. Well water, or a little MUD, I can understand. But people were getting gallons and gallons and gallons.

It's like people are preparing for a nuclear attack this far inland. Can't say I didn't chuckle at some folks. Needless to say, I'm putting off my grocery shopping until next week.
Shannon says that a path up towards Beaumont will do the worst possible damage to the oil infrastructure. I've given up trying to figure out what the market will do, but it's something to watch.

I had the same thought as Morgan -- whatever happened to filling the trusty bathtub? 30 gallons for free. Get a Brita pitcher and you're in business.