Colonial Pipeline Partially Shuts Down

Storm Harvey paralyses a fifth of US fuel output

NY is heavily dependent on gas from pipelines like Colonial, and consumes the fourth most amount of natural gas in the country behind only Texas and California, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Fuel prices at the pump likely are to climb after Colonial Pipeline, the largest US gasoline conduit, was forced to shut its main diesel line late Wednesday and planned to halt its gasoline line Thursday because about half of Gulf Coast refining capacity was offline.

Gas prices across America have soared in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Wednesday evening, Colonial Pipeline, which supplies gasoline, diesel and jet fuel to the the East Coast, announced it expects to temporarily suspend its pipeline operations.

"Along with other fuel outlets in the area, RaceTrac is working to mitigate any supply issues and minimize the disruption caused by the effects of Hurricane Harvey", the statement said.

As shortages ripple across the East Coast, the most likely suppliers left standing are refiners from Louisiana and Europe, according to Zachary Rogers, a refining and oil products analyst at Wood Mackenzie.

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Prices have risen more than 17.5 cents since August 23, before the storm began.

A view of the price board at a Mobil gas station on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, in Latham, N.Y.

Storage tanks at the Colonial Pipeline Co.

We found several gas stations in the Johnson City area with regular unleaded gas for around $2.49.

The reduction in fuel supplies has forced the Colonial Pipeline, which supplies fuel from refineries near the Gulf of Mexico to the U.S. Northeast, to reduce supplies.

Panic at the pump is spreading across the country just as the long Labor Day weekend sets in, boosting the nationwide average price for regular gasoline at the pump by 7 cents a gallon Thursday to $2.519, the steepest single-day increase in a decade, AAA data show.

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Ingram said he would not be surprised to see gas dip back below the $2-per-gallon mark this fall. The latest gasoline price spike reinforces the need to diversify the transportation sector so that it is not beholden to only one supply source-petroleum.

"Once Colonial is able to ensure that its facilities are safe to operate and refiners in Lake Charles and points east have the ability to move product to Colonial, our system will resume operations", the company said in a news release.

On average, gas prices in the entire state of North Carolina have spiked by about 20 cents since last week.

Two refineries in the Gulf Coast region are operating at reduced rates.

Reopening the shuttered Texas sections of pipeline could help avoid major gas shortages, but huge challenges remain, as several giant Texas refineries were shut down due to the storm. Valero started telling its customers that sell fuels to gas stations Wednesday that it can't meet its contractual supply agreements. Harvey's devastating strike on the Gulf Coast has prompted one of the summer's largest one-week price surges, AAA reported.

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