The Gulf Coast's vast energy network is making a comeback three weeks after Hurricane Harvey.

Fifteen of the 20 refineries that went down or slowed production have almost fully recovered, with about 1 million barrels a day of refining capacity still offline, IHS Markit said in an update on Wednesday.

"Steady progress appears to have been made and the four refineries in active restart may very well be operating normally by this weekend," IHS said.

 

Average U.S. gasoline prices have edged down by about 5 cents to $2.62per gallon of regular.

Demand for gasoline, particularly in the southwestern United States, has dropped this month as two major hurricanes destroyed cars and left roads impassable.

In Florida, motorists fleeing Hurricane Irma had boosted southeastern gas demand by 19 percent.

 

Gasoline stocks dropped at a slower rate last week than the week before.

U.S. oil production has recovered, after Harvey threatened well sites in the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas and in the Gulf of Mexico. Daily output rose from 8.8 million barrels to 9.4 million barrels last week, according to the Energy Department.

IHS also noted the Zydeco pipeline has reopened with the capacity to carry 325,000 barrels a day from Texas to Louisiana. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. crude benchmark, remains around $6 a barrel below Brent, the international standard.

"We expect the spread to narrow as refinery runs continue to recover, crude export volumes increase and crude imports subside," IHS said.

Petrochemical plants also continue to recover. Only 10 percent of the nation's production of ethylene, the primary building block of the most common plastics, remains offline, compared to more than 50 percent immediately after Hurricane Harvey.