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Drove this morning to work. Passed half a dozen of gas stations or so. NO GAS! Are we running out of gas already? Or is it just panic buying?

I am planning to drive to Tampa tomorrow and do not want to get stranded without gas. What is the situation in Florida? Can you get gas?
 

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There is a slowdown in supply.
But the stations running out is a direct result of panic buying.

F'rinstance:
Many stations in Charlotte claim they are out of gas.
When I got home last night (small town several miles from Charlotte), I went by the grocery store and stopped in the local gas station and filled up. At pre-"katrina"-gouge prices.

The Boss Lady drives home during rush hour. This week, I have been staying late and going home a couple hours later. At several stations along the main drags we have noticed this pattern.

Pre- morning rush hour 2.79/gal
During morning rush hour 3.09/gal
Afternoon rush 3.59/gal
After the rush 2.99/gal

Each day the pattern repeats.

Until the State Atty Gen'l started posting the scam hotline number on TV.

This morning: NO prices posted. You have to drive in to see the fluctuations.

Oh, and when a station runs out, guess which grade runs out first? PREMIUM!

Smells fishy to me...

Especially when I saw a notice, a full week before Katrina hit the Atlantic coast of Florida, that gas prices would hit 3.00 by September (they did), 5.00 by the end of the year (others have jumped on this bandwagon), and 10.00 by this time next year.

NONE of it Katrina-related...
 

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There are several issues here.

For the time being, I will not address the Price gouging (which is stations, your neighbors, not the oil companies).

I was on my way to Clearwater this morning to see (and maybe buy) a 57 Thunderbird.
But as i left town I noticed that some stations gad lines and some had none.
I pulled into a couple of stations to see what was going on.
I wouldn't call it panic buying down here, The "lines" were 3 or 4 cars long.
Most of it was because more than half the stations had hoods on their pumps. The people that normally used those stations had to get gas somewhere.
The stations didn't get there deliverys yesterday.

I came home.
I wasn't going to burn my (possible) last tank of gas for awhile on something as low on the priority list as this.

Looks more like a distribution problem than an actual shortage, but a shortage is on the way.

There will be very limited crude oil coming out of the GOM for a while.
The GOM supplys the US with about 25/35% of our domestic oil. In addition several refinerys are now down due to Katrina for a few weeks to months.
We were running at just about 100% refining capacity before Katrina. That was a very big reason prices were high.
The fall off in driving (Traditionally every year after Labor Day) WOULD have lowered gas prices a bit. But that isn't going to happen now, IMO.

I think within a week or two, the supply will be adequate.

Then we can start worrying about NG here in the south and Heating oil up north.

Homer
 

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It was just a rumor someone started on the internet. The only reason they started running out of gas was because everyone was buying it at the same time.
 
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