Gas prices spiking in Tennessee; analysts point to Hurricane Harvey

Gas prices spiking in Tennessee; analysts point to Hurricane Harvey

The Colonial Pipeline, the biggest USA fuel system, said it would shut part of its main lines to the Northeast after outages at pumping points and lack of supply from refiners.

- A major gasoline pipeline in Atlanta has temporarily suspended operations in facilities west of Lake Charles, Louisiana due to Hurricane Harvey, according to a press release by Colonial Pipeline. It also has 15 storage locations to serve customers, and connects to more than 260 terminals.

"Costco has cheap gas and my tank is empty and I'm not sure how much longer I will have to wait for prices to go back down", he said.

In Dallas, the price is up 18-cents per gallon over the past week to $2.37.

Supply shortages have developed even though there are almost a quarter of a billion barrels of gasoline stockpiled in the United States.

The national average of $2.45 a gallon is the highest in two years.

Ingram explained the worst thing Alabamians can do is panic buy, which can snowball into a situation where there are needless shortages.

The pipeline transports more than 3 million barrels of diesel, gasoline and jet fuel each day from the Houston area to the NY harbor and includes more than 5,500 miles of pipeline, most of which is underground.

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Now, gas originally meant for northern states can be sold in Florida and some still-open refineries can focus on making the one type of high-volatility gasoline.

The closure of key refineries and some of the pipeline's own resources by Hurricane Harvey facilitated the partial closure.

Thornbrugh said from QT's perspective, North Texas isn't in danger of running out of gas; the company has designated certain locations to receive gas deliveries.

AAA Alabama Spokesman Clay Ingram said only a portion of the 5,500-mile pipeline - from Lake Charles, Louisiana, to Texas - is closed. Columbia came in at #18 with a hike of.249 cents a gallon. Gasoline prices jumped a nickel overnight across the Washington metro area and the state of Virginia, and pump prices jumped seven cents within the past 24 hours in Maryland. Others charged well over $3, and one downtown Shell station charged $3.97 for a regular gallon of gas.

Refinery, pipeline and logistical problems on the Gulf Coast are expected to squeeze fuel supply delivery volumes to the Southeast, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.

Benchmark US gasoline prices and margins surged to two-year highs as Colonial Pipeline, the biggest US fuel system, said it would shut its main lines to the Northeast by Thursday due to outages at its pumping points and lack of supplies from refiners.

"This is going to be the worst thing the United States has seen in decades from an energy standpoint", said an East Coast market source, who did not want to be identified because he was not authorised to speak to the press. Some refineries in the Corpus Christi area were preparing to restart operations on Wednesday, but others farther up the coast were still assessing the damage, the company reported.

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