Colonial Pipeline Begins to Restart Flow of Fuel

The operator of Colonial Pipeline said on Wednesday that it had started to resume pipeline operations.

“It will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal,” the company said on its website. “Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions during the start-up period.”

The pipeline, which stretches from Texas to New Jersey, had been shut down since Friday after a ransomware attack.

Over the last few days, Colonial has opened segments of the pipeline manually to relieve some supply pressures in a few states, including Maryland and New Jersey. But anxiety has persisted despite the assertions of industry analysts that the impact of the shutdown would remain relatively minor as long as the artery was fully restored soon.

Gasoline in Georgia and a few other states rose 8 to 10 cents a gallon on Wednesday, a price jump typically seen only when hurricanes interrupt Gulf of Mexico refinery and pipeline operations.

The Colonial Pipeline

The pipeline can carry roughly three million barrels of fuel a day over 5,500 miles from Texas to New York.

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Source: United States Energy Information Administration

By Scott Reinhard

A gallon of gas increased an average of 10 cents in South Carolina and 6 cents in North Carolina on Wednesday, while gas in Virginia rose about 8 cents a gallon. Before the pipeline was shut down, gas prices were edging higher, as they typically do as summer approaches. Over the past week, gas has jumped 24 cents in Georgia and 18 cents in South Carolina.

Filling stations in Southern states were selling two to three times their normal amount of gasoline on Tuesday, according to the Oil Price Information Service, an organization that tracks the oil sector. Some stations are running out of fuel while others are limiting purchases to 10 gallons.

Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia signed an executive order suspending his state’s gasoline tax through Saturday, which amounts to roughly 20 cents a gallon. Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina, Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia and Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida each declared a state of emergency in an effort to suspend some fuel transport rules.

American Airlines will resume nonstop service on Thursday on two daily flights out of Charlotte, N.C., after adding interim stops to the trips to refuel. One, to Honolulu, stopped in Dallas, where customers changed planes. The other, to London, stopped in Boston to refuel. The flights had originally been expected to return to their original schedules on Saturday.

Southwest Airlines said it was flying in supplemental fuel to Nashville, and United Airlines said it was flying extra fuel to Baltimore; Nashville; Savannah, Ga.; and Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport in South Carolina.

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