Colonial Pipeline Explosion And Fire Kills Worker, May Cause Gas Supply Issues

Image courtesy of Colonial Pipeline

Hey, remember just just over a month ago when the Colonial fuel pipeline shut down, cutting gas supplies to the Southeast and leading to shortages at gas stations? The same pipeline, which is the nation’s biggest and brings gasoline from Houston to New Jersey with many stops along the way, will be shut down again after a fire that killed one worker and hospitalized five.

Reuters reports that the pipeline could close down for up to a week, and the site of the fire is “several miles” from the September breach. A source told the news service that fuel companies expect the pipeline to be down for about a week, and the smaller adjacent pipeline that carries diesel and jet fuel to shut down for four days, since it wasn’t directly affected by the fire.

While cities farther east and closer to ports have easier access to gas during a pipeline issue like this one, alternative delivery methods can mean higher prices. Still, that’s better than actual shortages, which consumers in inland markets in the Southeast can expect if the pipeline is out for long enough.

Or, as one oil products analyst put it in a research note after the fire, there will be “upward pressure…on U.S. East Coast fuel prices” and corresponding “downward pressure” on prices on the Gulf Coast, since gasoline won’t be able to travel east and north.

Colonial gasoline line may be shut at least a week after explosion [Reuters]
Largest U.S. Fuel Pipeline Shuts After Workers Trigger Blast [Bloomberg]

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