CHARLOTTE, N.C. (November 1, 2016) – Gas prices are expected to rise after Colonial Pipeline shut down Lines 1 and 2 in response to a gasoline explosion in Shelby County, Alabama late Monday evening. The shutdown could have a major impact on supplies throughout the Carolinas, according to AAA.
“If September's shutdown was any indicator of what we should expect, prices are definitely going to spike at the pump,” said Tiffany Wright, public relations manager for AAA Carolinas. “We saw price spikes of 20 to 30 cents in some areas and there were a ton of stations with bagged pumps due to shortages.”
In September, officials at Colonial were forced to shut down the pipeline due to a leak, which caused fuel prices to increase throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. The leak resulted in a 12 day shutdown and several states, including the Carolinas, experienced shortages at gas stations. The Southeast had to rely on long-distance truck deliveries from as far as Chicago and waterborne fuel deliveries to help meet demand in the region.
Colonial is a key artery that connects Gulf Coast refineries with markets across the southern and eastern United States, delivering gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other refined products.
In response to September's leak, Colonial built a bypass which allowed product to move to impacted areas within 11 days after the initial shutdown. Pump prices in much of the southeast region began to drop once the bypass was in place.
AAA is working closely with OPIS to provide the latest information on the Colonial Pipeline issues.