The current gasoline shortage in the New York metropolitan area isn’t expected to last very long by our calculations. The refining, distribution and marketing of refined product were the sectors that bared the brunt of Sandy. Storms aside, inventories were already at a five year low in the New England/Atlantic districts due to weak refined product demand, futures contracts in backwardation (higher prices today than in the future), and poor margins at Northeast refineries that resulted in a decrease in production.
Power outages are the primary reason why there has been a gasoline shortage in New York City. With more than 50% of gas stations without power last week, those that were open quickly ran out of fuel. Now that nearly all gas stations have power, the current shortage should fade out rather quickly.