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Pipeline restarted, fuel supply chain still impacted

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A ruptured gasoline pipeline has been repaired and is resuming delivery of gasoline to various depots across the Southeast.

According to Colonial Pipeline, it restarted its gasoline pipeline Sunday morning after a week of repairs to a segment of the pipe in Alabama.

Despite the start, the company said it will “take several days for the fuel delivery supply chain to return to normal.”

The segment of pipe ruptured after crews working on Line 1 hit the pipeline with a backhoe, causing a fire to start. The incident occurred Oct. 31 and Colonial Pipeline closed down the pipe for a week while repairs were being made. One contractor died from injuries sustained from the incident.

Gas prices across the South have increased since the line was shut down. According to GasBuddy.com, a gas price monitoring site, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas was more than $2 in the Upstate. Prices in the Upstate averaged $1.96 per gallon prior to the shutdown and reached nearly $2.08 in the last six days.

“The last pipeline leak that happened, we felt the effects for weeks and, unfortunately, this came at a really bad time,” said Tiffany Wright, spokeswoman for AAA Carolinas. “Supplies were back at a normal level and this happens and this is going to impact distribution.”

According to its supply map, Colonial Pipeline does distribute gasoline at terminals in Belton and Spartanburg. The company’s latest estimates were that supply would reach those two Upstate terminals in 24-48 hours.

It is the second time in three months Colonial Pipeline was forced to shut down its gasoline pipeline. In September, the line was shut down after a section of it ruptured in Alabama. The company said the latest break in the line was “several miles” from where the first break occurred. 

Reach Matthew Clark at 864-720-1222.

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