Texans could be seeing higher prices at the pump over the next several days, as several oil companies have shut down their Gulf Coast refineries to prepare for Hurricane Isaac.
"In the markets this creates some uncertainty, because no one really knows how long this storm is going to last, or how strong it's going to be, or how soon those refineries can get restarted. And the markets hate uncertainty, so what that usually means is there's volatility and prices are going up," said Bill Day of Valero.
Day said the storm has also stopped ships carrying crude oil from delivering to Gulf Coast ports, but said this shouldn't present too much of a problem, as the U.S. has a great deal of crude oil already in inventory.
"If this is a lengthy outage it could translate into higher prices at the pump, but we're hopeful that this will not be a big storm like Katrina or Rita and will pass quickly, those refineries can get restarted, and everything will be back to normal fairly soon," said Day.
Day said the time it will take to reopen the refineries will depend on the amount of damage they have sustained post hurricane.
"We have crews actually in the refineries who will ride out the storm inside of a storm resistant building. As soon as the storm passes they'll conduct a damage assessment, and as long as there's no damage and there's a steady supply of electricity at the refineries they can get started up right away and probably be back to normal within a couple of days," said Day.
However, if there's a good amount of damage to the ship or any of its utilities, Day said recovery could take a little bit longer.