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An oil refinery flare, right, continues to burn through wind and rain as Hurricane Harvey moves into Corpus Christi, Texas, on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. Hurricane Harvey is expected to make landfall on the Texas coast Friday night or early Saturday morning. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

Key oil and gas facilities along the Texas Gulf Coast have shut down as Harvey pounds the region



Key oil and gas facilities along the Texas Gulf Coast have temporarily shut down as Harvey, which is now a tropical storm, continues to bring high winds and torrential rain to the region.

Although the storm is still moving through the region, experts say Harvey will likely cause gas prices to increase 5 cents, to 25 cents per gallon. That's because nearly one-third of the nation's refining capacity sits in low-lying areas along the coast from Corpus Christi, Texas, to Lake Charles, Louisiana.

How soon these facilities reopen all depends on the severity of flooding and how soon power is restored.

"The biggest driver of how much this will increase gas prices is how much rain falls in Houston during the next three days," Andy Lipow, president of consultant Lipow Oil Associates, said Saturday. "We are in a wait-and-watch mode."

Lipow told the Associated Press that he predicts gas prices will rise 10 cents per gallon east of the Rockies.

Tom Kloza, an analyst for the Oil Price Information Service, said gas prices could rise by 25 cents a gallon. However, he added that an increase of 5 cents to 15 cents is more likely.

Before the of the storm made landfall, at least three refineries and at least two petrochemical plants had suspended operations. The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said Friday that workers had already been removed from 86 of the 737 manned platforms used to pump oil and gas from beneath the Gulf.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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