• What TFFA is Saying About Harvey and Fuel Supply

  • What TFFA is Saying About Harvey and Fuel Supply

    TFFA Talking Points on Harvey and Fuel "Panic Buying" (PDF)
    Harvey made landfall as a category 4 hurricane with sustained winds reaching 135 mph. Forecasters could not have predicted the magnitude of flooding that would occur after Harvey began hammering Houston with torrential rainfall — along with much of Southeast Texas.

    This event is without a doubt unprecedented and has been referred to as a ‘500-year’ flood. The floods of Harvey have had a much greater impact than the winds from hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Refineries require electricity, great heat, and pressure – all of which are the enemies of water. All along the Texas coast, refineries made the decision to temporarily halt or reduce refining capacity to prevent facility damage. Optimism that operations will resume soon remains high; however, specific time frames are only being announced after damage assessments have been completed.

    A number of waivers have been activated by various levels of government which serve to increase options for supply points to extend existing inventories for their maximum benefit. As emergency relief efforts continue in and around the impacted areas, ensuring emergency responders have the necessary fuel resources will continue to be the highest priority.

    Harvey has had a major effect on the state’s fuel production and distribution system — one that is undergoing a systematic process to be restored safely. Right now, many fuel distributors outside of the storm's impact zone are urgently attempting to meet the fuel demands of drivers who have become increasingly worried amid rumors of fuel shortages.

    Last week, 10 times the normal amount of drivers rushed to their local gas station to fill up every car and gas can in sight — within a span of 36-48 hours, . The “panic buying” frenzy placed an incredible strain on Texas’ fuel distribution system and threw the demand-to-supply ratio completely off balance. As a result, the Texas Food & Fuel Association (TFFA) and industry partners have made every attempt to calm the motoring public through a series of news articles, emails, off/on-camera interviews, social media campaigns, and personal outreach.

    Moving forward, TFFA wants to ensure that the message is clear:

    “The fuel distribution system has been disrupted by Harvey. Limited access to product due to flooding, long lines at terminals, equipment and infrastructure damage, roadway closures, utility outages, workforce challenges, and fuel “panic buying” have all contributed to the current strain on the fuel distribution system.  The men and women of the oil and gas industry are working around the clock to stabilize the fuel supply chain and reduce the inconvenience drivers in Texas are experiencing at the pump.” 

    TFFA has prepared talking points that include the current status of refineries along along the Texas coast, industry statistics, obstacles retailers are facing, how the industry is responding, and other important industry information. Should you be contacted by the media or care to share this information with your colleagues, employees, family, and friends please do so knowing that TFFA is working around the clock with industry partners to keep you informed.

    For questions or comments please contact Jesus Azanza, Director of Communications & Marketing, at jazanza@tffa.com / 512.617.4309.