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Energy Professor Warms That Harvey May Hurt Oil Supply More Than Many Realize

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A professor of Energy Management at Rice University in Houston is warning that Hurricane Harvey may have a bigger effect on the nation’s oil supply that previously thought.

In an editorial in the D.C. political newspaper The Hill, Bill Arnold writes that Harvey is only the latest in a series of factors that have put pressure on the production, refining and distribution of crude in the U.S.

A year and a half ago, Congress lifted the ban on oil exports. This action resulted in a drawdown of what had previously been a “glut” of stored oil. Markets were then thrown into uncertainty by a political crisis in Venezuela, a major supplier of heavy-grade crude oil.

Now, take into account the fact that 25 percent of the refining activity in the United States has been halted due to the threats and destruction of Harvey, and the result is a deeply wounded energy infrastructure.