A pipeline responsible for carrying refined petroleum to South Carolina and other states in the Southeast has been repaired, according to the operator of the pipeline.
Colonial Pipeline, based in Alpharetta, Ga., said Wednesday night its Line 1 has been “restarted and returned to service.”
The line suffered a break on Sept. 9 that impacted gas supply and gas prices from North Carolina to Georgia. The company reported nearly 336,000 gallons of gasoline spilled as a result of the leak, according to AL.com.
Colonial said, in a news release, while the leak has been repaired and the line is operational, “it is expected to take several days for the fuel delivery supply chain to return to normal.”
“Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions,” the release said. “Colonial continues to move as much gasoline, diesel and jet fuel as possible and will continue to do so as markets return to normal.”
The supply disruption had a negative impact on gasoline supply and prices across North Carolina and South Carolina. Grocery store chain Ingles said its fuel supplies were seriously impacted by the supply disruption. According to gasoline price monitoring website GasBuddy.com, gasoline prices in Greenville reached over $2 per gallon for the first time in over three months.
Gregg Lazkowski, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com, said the price hike was not a surprising market reaction considering the volume of product lost in the pipeline that runs from Houston, Texas to New Jersey. He said even when the pipeline is restored, it will take time for the market to even out and for prices level out.
“The good news for the Carolinas is because you have access to the coast, there is access to alternatives to fuel that is not based in a pipeline, but Tennessee is not that fortunate,” Lazkowski said. “There are some other potential options to alleviate the needs, but none of it comes together quickly.”
Colonial said it has used more than 800 personnel at the site in Alabama to remediate the site and repair the pipeline. The company said it will continue to focus on site remediation. They said they still have not identified the cause of the spill.
“Colonial will continue to excavate and remove the impacted segment of the pipeline so that a full and complete investigation can be conducted to determine the cause of this incident,” the company said. “It would be premature to speculate on the cause of the Sept. 9 release until the pipe has been excavated, inspected, and investigations are complete.”