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June 22, 2019: Gas Prices Could Rise After Big Fire at Philadelphia Oil Refinery

When the fire exploded at the Philadelphia Oil Refinery on Friday morning, it looked like a nuclear bomb went off. It is likely that the gasoline supply in the U.S. Northeast will be affected by the outage. Gasoline futures rose 4% on Friday on the news. Gas prices could rise. The oil refinery is owned by Philadelphia Energy Solutions. This is the largest U.S. East Coast plant. The plant was severely damaged and could remain closed for a long time. The fire was contained by late afternoon. However, a connection line feeding fuel to the tank could not be shut. Propane and butane continued burning. At this location, 335,000 barrels of crude oil are refined daily.

A few weeks ago, gas prices were falling on their way to $2 a gallon for much of USA. Rising tensions between Iran and USA put pressure on oil prices. The explosion at the gasoline refinery put wholesale gas prices for the Northeast up 7 cents a gallon to $1.86 Friday. This was one of the biggest rises this year. So far, prices at the pump were not affected.