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Hurricane Sandy Shuts Down East Coast

While people on the Atlantic Coast are still making preparations for Hurricane Sandy, East Coast oil refineries  have already been adversely affected by the storm. CNBC reports:

“Oil refineries along the U.S. Atlantic Seaboard, having put their storm preparedness plans in place, began to cut rates on Sunday ahead of Hurricane Sandy’s expected landfall along New Jersey’s barrier islands spurred by fears of power outages. Six East Coast oil refineries representing 1.19 million barrels per day — or 7 percent of total U.S. capacity — could potentially be hit by the deadly storm.”

As a result, gasoline and heating oil prices rose significantly over the past week. According to Phil Flynn, a senior market analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago:

“Oil would have closed lower, if not for the Frankenstorm…It’s obviously having a bigger effect on heating oil and gasoline because supplies are tight. If the storm shuts refineries and we’re then hit by a cold snap, we could see heating oil prices surge.”

Hurricane Sandy has yet to make landfall on the East Coast, but is expected to within 24 hours. We at Pumps will keep a close eye on this as the situation develops. In the mean time, we encourage our readers to cooperate with the National Weather Service and all state and local authorities. Seek shelter and stay safe!

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