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Colonial Shuts Key Fuel Pipeline To The U.S. Northeast

Operator Colonial Pipeline has shut one of its lines delivering fuel to the U.S. Northeast Coast after a spill in Virginia, the company’s spokeswoman Meredith Stone told Bloomberg in an email.

Colonial Pipeline was forced to shut down Line 3 for unplanned maintenance after product spilled at the Witt delivery station near Danville, Virginia. The impact of the product release was contained within Colonia’s property, the company said. The restart of the pipeline is expected on January 7, per notice from Colonial Pipeline to the users of the pipeline.

Line 3 is an 885,000 barrels per day (bpd) pipeline that moves all products – gasoline, diesel, heating oil, and jet fuel – from Greensboro in North Carolina to Linden, New Jersey. Colonial’s Line 3 is part of a wider pipeline system carrying fuels to the East Coast.

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The biggest disruption to Colonial Pipeline in recent years was a week-long shutdown of the pipeline system after a cyberattack in May 2021. Colonial Pipeline carries some 45 percent of the gasoline and diesel fuel the East Coast of the U.S. consumes.

The shutdown of Colonial Pipeline’s Line 3 helped oil prices to steady on Thursday after a massive selloff on Tuesday and Wednesday that saw crude oil plunging by 9% in two days for the worst start to a year since 1991.

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The Colonial Pipeline disruption is the second oil/fuel pipeline shutdown in as many months.

In early December, TC Energy, the operator of the Keystone Pipeline, had to shut down the oil pipeline after a leak south of Steele City spilled oil into a creek in Kansas. A few days later, the leak was contained , and no drinking water has been impacted, the Environmental Protection Agency said in a statement at the time. At the end of December, TC Energy said the Keystone Pipeline had returned to operation.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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