In the wake of Hurricane Ida, Louisiana has been left with a significant fuel shortage. The Energy Department has authorized the use of the strategic oil supply to help combat the shortage. The Energy Department is set to release 1.5 million barrels of crude to ExxonMobil Baton Rouge, giving the company the responsibility of replenishing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
Many of the refineries in Louisiana have been forced to shut down due to the power outages and damage from the hurricane. The few that are online are dealing with serious supply shortages from the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Ida has caused 80% of the oil production in the Gulf to stop along with 83% of natural gas production. The lack of production combined with the widespread power outages has led to 65% of gas stations in New Orleans and Baton Rouge to be out of fuel on Thursday, according to Gas Buddy. Hopefully the use of the strategic oil supply will alleviate some of the logistical issues as the region recovers.