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February 19, 2021 12:30 PM, EST

Texas Gas Stations Still Dark Following Big Freeze

 Gas pumps are out of service at an Exxon gas station in Houston Feb. 18. (Go Nakamura/Getty Images via Bloomberg News) Gas pumps are out of service at an Exxon gas station in Houston Feb. 18. (Go Nakamura/Getty Images via Bloomberg News

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More than 1,700 gas stations are without electricity Feb. 19 because of the Texas power disaster, threatening to push pump prices even higher with key refineries in the state still shut.

The total represents more than 12% of the stations in Texas, according to Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for retail fuel tracker GasBuddy. Among the largest cities, the most outages are concentrated in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Gasoline prices at the pump in Texas are at $2.27 a gallon, up 6 cents from a week ago, according to auto club AAA. The national average clocks in at $2.60 a gallon, the highest since November 2019. Some of the biggest refineries in Texas are expected to take weeks to resume operations, with many plants having to repair damaged equipment, suggesting it may be tough, and costly, for Texans to fuel up.

The freeze also pushed the Gulf Coast cash-market gasoline trade higher. Cash gasoline blendstock for Colonial Pipeline was at $1.82 a gallon Feb. 19, the highest since July 2019.

Yet, gasoline demand still is weaker as fewer drivers are hitting the roads with the cold temperatures following icy conditions. U.S. fuel consumption last week was at the lowest seasonally in 20 years, also due partly to the COVID-19 pandemic depressing demand, government data show.

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