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The gasoline shortages in America’s Southeast are shrinking, but two weeks after the Colonial Pipeline went offline due to a hack, some drivers are still finding it hard to locate gasoline.
According to GasBuddy, roughly 30% of all retail gas stations in North Carolina, South Caroline, and George were out of gasoline. Virginia and Tennessee were also experiencing significant outages.
Colonial Pipeline’s main line that carries gasoline and diesel to the U.S. East Coast shut down after a ransomware attack earlier this month. More than a thousand fuel stations in the Southeast were out of gasoline and diesel caused by panic buying and shuttered pipelines. Even people in Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley, were rushing to fill up their tanks as news of dry gas stations surfaced.
Colonial Pipeline paid a nearly $5 million in ransom in the form of an untraceable cryptocurrency to the hackers.
The pipeline company began to restart the downed line on May 13, but warned that full-delivery volumes would take a few extra days.
But two weeks after the shutdown, and some gas stations are still experiencing significant outages.
Still, purchasing trends are “starting” to return to normal in most markets, retail-price tracker GetUpside’s data shows, according to Bloomberg.
In Georgia, the average price of a retail gallon of regular gasoline was $2.944 as of Friday, according to AAA data, up from $2.708 a month ago before the pipeline incident.
In North Carolina, Friday’s average price for regular gasoline was $2.929 per gallon, compared to $2.627 a month ago.
U.S. gasoline consumption is nearing pre-pandemic levels and is now down just 4% in the four weeks for May 14 compared to the pre-pandemic five-year average, according to Reuters.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.