Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include information from AAA Texas and the Texas Gas Service.
EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Even as millions of Texans suffer through power outages, another shortage seems to be adding to their misery.
Gas shortages in other parts of the state have people searching for fuel for their vehicles and for generators that have become back-ups for many trying to keep warm.
As estimated, 3 million barrels per day of oil production remains offline.
That would result in companies having to buy at higher prices — and Texans could end up seeing that reflected in their utility bills and at the pump.
While there have not been reports of a gas shortage here in El Paso, gas prices in the area are expected to surge due to the winter weather.
According to AAA Texas, gas prices were already on the rise due to rising crude oil prices and cuts by OPEC, but with all major Gulf Coast refineries being affected by the storm, gas supply is tightening and pump prices are increasing.
“The situation is very similar to a Gulf Coast hurricane’s impact. Refineries come offline and, until damage is assessed and operations are back up and running, supply is tight — especially with road conditions and power outages reducing fuel deliveries, if stations even have power to accept them. Until things thaw out and refineries are running again, drivers should expect more expensive pump prices.”
On the natural gas front, Texas Gas Service is asking Borderland residents to limit their use of natural gas. The gas company said demand is putting a strain on the natural gas wells and they are taking time to restock them.
The gas service is asking everyone to limit the use of their heaters — even lowering the temperature can help a lot, Texas Gas Service said.
The company said that if the power does go out to lower the thermostat and let the system reset when power is restored.
If you think that there is a gas leak in your home or in the area, leave the area and immediately call 911.