Georgia-based Company Shuts Down Gas Pipeline in Wake of Harvey
A major gasoline pipeline may be able to resume shipping fuel from the Houston area by Sunday, its operator said, potentially mitigating gasoline shortages across the southern United States since Hurricane Harvey forced Gulf Coast refineries to close. But filling tanks was already becoming difficult Thursday in parts of Texas, where some stations were out of gas and pump costs have risen steeply.
The Colonial Pipeline provides nearly 40 percent of the South's gasoline. According to a company spokesman, it runs underground and is now under water in many parts of Texas, where inspections are needed before it can be fully operational again, Colonial spokesman Steve Baker said Thursday.
The Georgia-based company remains able to operate its pipeline from Louisiana to states east and northeast of there, though deliveries will be "intermittent," the company said.
Huge challenges remain for the nation's system of getting gasoline to the pumps of service stations, since Hurricane Harvey forced the shutdown of at least eight Texas refineries, according to AAA.
Pump prices have surged — the average for a gallon of regular gasoline rose from about $2.35 a week ago to $2.45 now, AAA reported. The price spike is more dramatic in some states such as Georgia, where the average cost per gallon of regular gas has climbed from $2.22 a week ago to $2.39 now.