Hurricane Ike has struck Texas and has moved on. This comes two weeks after Hurricane Gustave struck Louisiana. Because of damage done to the electric grid by Gustav, much of Louisiana's oil pumping and pipeline transport has been off line for the last two weeks. This means that it has been difficult to transport not only crude oil, but finished petroleum products such as gasoline. In addition, refineries in Louisiana have been off line for the last two weeks.
The U.S. inventory of refined petroleum products is now at or possibly below the minimum operating level, and shortages of gasoline and other petroleum products are starting to appear throughout the east. I am not merely talking about the American Southeast, but even places in the Midwest, due to the shutdown of pipelines such as the Colonial Pipeline and the Explorer Pipeline. Some energy analysts expect these shortages to become widespread and to last for at least three to four weeks. It seems that we shall all have a taste of what Peak Oil is about. Some of us will get a very strong taste. I hope you all have made some preparations.
Gail Tverberg, an actuary and energy analyst, has written a very informative article on what we can expect over the next month as a result of the hurricanes. Her article, "Implications of a Ten Day Refinery Outage," is at http://www.theoildrum.com/node/4526.