Will Hurricane Beryl cause gas prices to rise?

Hurricane Beryl left damage to homes and businesses as it moved through the Texas Gulf Coast, but it also could have impacted the oil and gas industry.

The state's largest ports closed before Beryl arrived, meaning oil exports were paused. 

The Port of Corpus Christi was back open by Tuesday morning, but the Houston Ship Channel, a major point for the import and export of crude oil and refined products, remains closed.

Crews are assessing damage in the area, but energy experts say it could have been much worse.

"We dodged a bullet here," said Tom Seng, an assistant professor of professional practice in energy finance at TCU. "I know the folks without power don't exactly feel lucky, but we kind of got lucky from the standpoint of oil infrastructure."

Seng says Beryl's path went through an area with fewer platforms.

"If that thing had shifted and hit the middle of the Gulf of Mexico there could have been substantial damage to those offshore oil and gas platforms," he said.

Crews will be out assessing the damage on Tuesday, and we will have a better idea of the impact.

Power outages in the area have impacted refineries as well.


Hurricane Beryl: 8 killed, more than 2 million without power

8 people were killed by Beryl, including seven in the greater Houston area and one in Louisiana.

Then steps will be taken to get operations back up and running.

Seng expects the Houston Ship Channel to be back open by Wednesday.

Will Hurricane Beryl cause gas prices to rise?

Seng is skeptical that gas prices will rise as a result of Hurricane Beryl.

"If that was going to happen we would have seen it already," he said. "If refineries cut back at all that reduces demand for oil and folks aren't exactly driving during these hurricanes."

Any impact on the price of gas will be short-lived, according to Seng.

Energy industry's concern over hurricane season

Hurricane Beryl set several records as it moved across the Atlantic and into the Gulf, including being the strongest June and July hurricane on record.

With hurricane season just beginning, Seng is concerned about the possibility of more damaging storms.

"It's very, very concerning that we've seen something this strong, this early in the season. The season isn't over until November 30 and we generally peak in October," he said.

READ MORE: NOAA issues its most aggressive hurricane season forecast on record

A slight change to the path of a storm like Beryl could make a huge impact.

"We have thousands and thousands of offshore platforms for oil and gas production and we have seen destructive hurricanes in the past that have literally led to platforms being destroyed to taking six months [to return to operation]," Seng said.