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Parts Of East Coast Still Face Gas Shortages Despite Pipeline Restart

Washington DC and some parts of the Southeast are still dealing with gasoline shortages despite the restart of the Colonial Pipeline, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst Patrick De Haan said in a tweet.

According to De Haan, as much as 88 percent of gas stations in Washington DC are still out of gasoline as are 58 percent of stations in North Carolina. In South Carolina, 50 percent of stations were struggling with supply outages and in Georgia, 43 percent of gas stations were still out of gasoline as of early morning today, as were 33 percent of gas stations in Virginia, 27 percent of stations in Tennessee, and 29 percent of gas stations in Maryland.

A total 12,466 stations were out of gasoline, the GasBuddy analyst said in the tweet.

A ransomware attack shut down the Colonial Pipeline network on May 7, cutting off almost half of gasoline and diesel supply for the East Coast and prompting government agencies to scramble for alternative methods of transportation and granting temporary waivers from legislative restrictions for the transportation of fuels.

The shutdown prompted thousands to make a run on gas stations in parts of the East Coast, despite calls against panic buying. This led to some thousand stations warning that they were running out of gasoline and diesel last week. According to Energy Secretary Granholm, rural areas in the Southeast were likely to start receiving fuels at a normal rate by last weekend. The panic buying spree sent the national U.S. average gasoline price above $3 per gallon for the first time since 2014.

Besides the spike in prices and the supply outages, the Colonial shutdown also prompted a spike in tanker rates after Gulf Coast refiners rushed to book vessels for floating storage as they lost access to the pipeline.

Colonial Pipeline Co. said on Saturday the pipeline network had returned to normal operation.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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  • Mich Hager on May 18 2021 said:
    Pleased to hear they got back on line. Hopefully prices will stabilize going into the future.

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