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We ran out of fuel on the east coast

We noticed a fuel shortage in the eastern United States as the colonial pipeline was closed due to a ransom hack last week. As a precautionary measure, I learned that the line was shut down on Friday and hasn’t been reopened until this weekend, and probably still.

This has led some to aggressively raise fuel prices towards $ 3 per gallon, but in other parts of the East Coast there are hoarding and legal outages. But it’s not surprising given that the colonial pipeline is the largest in the country. Turning off the tap has a negative effect, and while things seem to be significantly worse in the southern states, they are appearing throughout the coast.

Local retailers report fuel-free stations that speak in places like Florida, Georgia, Virginia, and Maryland. Prices are below $ 3, but panic buying seems to be using more than a few stores. Ironically, West Texas Intermediate crude plummeted during this period last year. Barrels were trading at a minus $ 35 per barrel as the lapse of demand caused by the pandemic blockade brought surplus and there was no place to maintain the surplus.

Before you were surprised, the AAA Automobile Association predicted that national prices would be well below 10 cents next week. This gives you plenty of time to fill and stay there in the event of price spikes or common outages during the summer. Of course, AAA also opposes panic buying (although it has already started in some areas). This is usually because it exacerbates the problem for everyone and makes it already difficult to predict. Even if the pipeline is fully operational today, it can take weeks for fresh oil to reach all affected states.

“This closure will affect both gasoline supply and prices, but the impact will vary from region to region,” AAA spokesman Jeanette McGee said in a statement. “In areas including the East Coast from Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia to Delaware, fuel availability is most likely to be limited and prices are likely to rise as early as this week. In these states, prices are 3 this week. It could rise by ~ 7 cents. “

Colonial said on Monday that it would like to bring most of its work online by the weekend. However, that alone is not enough to avoid shortages and price increases. GasBuddy estimates that about 7% of gas stations in Virginia are already running out of fuel. Neighboring states are doing well, but stations are also depleted in places such as Georgia and Florida. North Carolina has issued a state of emergency related to the situation, hoping to help maintain its existing supply.

“The main lines (lines 1, 2, 3, 4) remain offline, but there are some small sidings between the terminal and the delivery point.” Colonial explained over the weekend.. “We are in the process of restoring service to other aspects, we are confident that it is safe, and we will bring the entire system back online only if it is fully compliant with all federal regulatory approvals.”

Looking back at the big picture, Americans could witness some of the highest fuel prices since 2014.That sounds bad, but it doesn’t seem impossible to manage the crisis until you read what Bloomberg I have to say. The outlet took a snapshot of the coastal plight and seems to have been performed only with quotes from people who endured (or were convinced) of the worst. It’s pretty dark, but it’s a good resource if you want to know more about pipeline hackers, gas stations running out of fuel, or what the oil industry and government are trying to achieve.

From Bloomberg:

Federal environmental regulators have waived rules banning the sale of traditional gasoline in areas where reformed fuel is needed. It also allows the sale of gasoline that does not meet the requirements to support the fight against smog. The exemption applies to Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC until May 18.

In New Jersey, the tightly held Bolkema Fuel Company began replenishing its stockpiles as soon as the colonial outage spread.

“When I hear something like this, I get panicked,” said Vice President John Volkema. “I called an additional driver and said, just do some additional loads. Let’s increase inventory and wait for this.”

His supplier raised prices at least three times on Monday as other companies tried to secure inventory. Also, Bolkema’s commercial clients are asking for additional deliveries to avoid shortages.

“It will be catastrophic,” John Patrick, Chief Operating Officer of Liberty Petroleum LLC, told the publication. “The governor should declare a state of emergency and ask people chasing tank trucks to gas stations to stay home. The school bus remains.”

Emergency gasoline and diesel shipments from Texas are already heading to southeastern cities via tank trucks. However, the large supply will serve military bases that were also affected by the closure of the pipeline. Oil is also shipped from abroad, but prices are not astronomical and unsustainable by the United States, and inland refineries will still struggle until the pipeline is restored.

[Image: Michael Vi/Shutterstock]



We ran out of fuel on the east coast

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