Company officials said they hope Colonial can avoid a long suspension, which has anxious energy analysts, and raises the possibility of soaring gas prices and shortages in metro Atlanta and other communities across the Southeast.
"With no refineries between the Gulf coast and Pennsylvania, the south-east is largely dependent on pipelines from the Gulf coast for their fuel, with Colonial being the largest", Jason Bordoff, the director of Columbia University's Centre on Global Energy Policy, told the FT. It knocked out about 4.4 million barrels of daily refining capacity, slightly more than Japan uses daily, and the signs of restarts were tentative.
Ingram also dispelled rumors the pipeline is damaged. And according to Patrick DeHaan, of Gas Buddy, it's not over yet.
The East Coast will start feeling the effects of Hurricane Harvey as the gasoline supplied from the Gulf Coast starts to dry up.
It closed in September 2016 after a leak and gas spill in Alabama, leading to days of empty gas station pumps and higher prices in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas. Several residents put two and two together, and reports began to swirl online that there would also be shortages in gasoline. That included a rare opportunity for exports of jet fuel from Europe to the United States, reversing the usual flow of shipments. "There's a logistics issue".
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The country's reserve was established in the 1970s during the oil embargo and now contains 679 million barrels of oil. The challenge is getting the gas to the stations. This means production capacity should return to normal in the next week or two. In many cases, the refineries were shut down as a proactive measure because the forecast called for flooding. However, if residents continue to rush and fuel up, the panic will continue and take even longer for gas to get to local stations.
"People hear about gas shortages, and they flip out". That caused a gas shortage, which caused prices to skyrocket for weeks. "If you price gouge anybody, you could be subject to penalties of up to $25,000 per incident". "Demand goes up, prices shoot up and then nobody can get to work". Argo says deliveries should resume this weekend if refined fuel products are available from Texas refineries. "That's the big unknown". The company said there was no timeline when the pipelines would be restarted.
"You just never know what could happen", he said.
Through its website, quiktrip.com, and mobile app, QT has provided a list of its locations that will have fuel available. Fuel deliveries will be intermittent and depend on its ability to receive supplies from refineries and terminals. After the US government waived fuel specifications, allowing refiners to ship winter-grade gasoline two weeks early to ease supply shortages while flooded refineries recover, Valero was ready to ship more fuel.