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Why Hess Stations Recovered Faster From Sandy

Staten Island residents stand in line for fuel at a gas station
Staten Island residents stand in line for fuel at a gas stationPhotograph by John Moore/Getty Images

In a scene straight out of the 1970s, and for the first time since then, New York City and parts of Long Island began rationing gasoline on Friday morning. Depending on how quickly the area’s energy infrastructure can return to normal, the restrictions could last for weeks.

Eleven days after Hurricane Sandy hit, most of the region’s gas stations are still unable to operate at full capacity, either because they lack electricity or they can’t get enough gasoline. Only 25 percent of New York City’s roughly 800 gas stations are open at a given time, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s press office. But while competitors are starved for gasoline, Hess has emerged in much better shape. According to a company spokesperson, 98 percent of the 186 Hess gasoline stations are open in the New York/New Jersey metro area. “Of all the walking wounded, Hess has fared by far the best,” says Fadel Gheit, senior oil and gas analyst at Oppenheimer.