Pipeline Problem Causing NJ Gas Prices to ‘Spasm’
TRENTON — New Jersey gas prices have ticked up and down in the past week because of a major pipeline that brings gasoline from the south, but there's no threat of a major price increase at the pump.
Colonial Pipeline's Line One, which transports gasoline from refineries on the Gulf Coast to the Southeast and the Eastern seaboard, leaked 252,000 gallons and 336,000 gallons of gasoline in Shelby County, Alabama, since the spill was first detected Sept. 9. The pipeline was shut down. It's unclear when the spill actually started.
The interruption in supply has caused prices to spike as much as 30 to 40 cents a gallon over the course of a week in the Atlanta area, according to GasBuddy.com. But New Jersey should not see nearly as big a spike in prices, according to Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service.
"We're a little more insulated. We're going to see choppy prices through the rest of the month. You see a nickel or you see a dime, it's not necessarily indicative of a trend, just a spasm in what is essentially a bi-polar market."
Kloza said that the New Jersey, with refineries on the Delaware River as well as access to imports, is "not quite as dependent on that one big artery."
"If you live from Georgia north through Tennessee and Virginia, there's real issues" with many stations out of gasoline or having significantly increased prices, Kloza said.
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Colonial said they have completed a bypass around the leak and plan on restarting the pipeline on Wednesday.
"It will take several days for the fuel delivery supply chain to return to normal. As such, some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions," the company said in a statement.
Kloza said that if you are headed south over the next month "make sure you leave New Jersey with a full tank. You may have some problems having finding stations" with gas especially south of Washington D.C.
Prices in New Jersey will remain low, although not approaching the lows of last year. "But it's still cheap, ending what has been the cheapest year since 2005 with a continued cheap run," Kloza said.