However, the epic flooding in the region is atypical, and the delay in repopulating the facilities with personnel could inhibit the return to service of the affected refineries for weeks to come.
Crude-oil prices are already down significantly on the sudden loss in demand from the region's refiners, and the price of gasoline is rising steadily.
The gasoline price rise will accelerate, if the next worst-case scenario emerges.
Texas and the Southeast are the most vulnerable to the greatest price rise, as those states are served primarily by the Gulf Coast refiners. The West Coast, Upper Midwest, and East Coast have their own refining assets that provide a good deal of their supply, and the East Coast can get increased supplies from Europe, rather easily.
So far, pipelines that carry refined products supplies across the Southeast and up into the Northeast, continue to operate, unaffected by the outages.
It is only a matter of time before the outage beings to register more fulsomely across the country at the pump.
Storms of this type are usually more widespread in their destruction, causing demand to be impinged by people fleeing and staying put in one location for a time. This storm is myopic in its impact, leaving the bulk of the country to carry on with strong seasonal gasoline demand, except for only Southeast Texas.
Absent a rapid return to service of the refineries in the region, gasoline prices could easily rise by $1.00 per gallon or more with spot shortages in some locations, especially in the Southeast.
The next several days will be critical in determining whether a severe, upward price spike is visited upon consumers, as we head into the last major holiday weekend of the summer driving period.
Estimates of rain amounts from round two of Harvey have been lowered, giving hope that a reversal of fortune is in store, but the forecast amounts remain significant.
Still, Texans are beyond resilient, and you can be sure that they will not allow a hurricane of any size to keep them, their communities, or industries down for very long. That is the good news.
Commentary by John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital, an investment-management firm that specializes in commodities. Follow him on Twitter @KilduffReport.
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