The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee heard expert witness testimony in an attempt to find causes behind record-high gasoline prices. Oil and gas expert witnesses described years of a lack of investment in refinery capacity as a primary factor in rising prices.
Deutsche Bank’s Paul Sankey, oil and gas production expert witness, said years of oil companies losing money led to many companies neglecting refinery investment. A contributing factor was the Texas City explosion, which caused other refiners to operate more cautiously and with less capacity. As the Associated Press reports, last year also saw the temporary shutdown of production at Prudhoe Bay due to maintenance problems.