| NEW YORK, Sept 19
NEW YORK, Sept 19 Gasoline prices in the
southeastern United States kept rising on Monday after a more
than weeklong disruption in Colonial Pipeline's main gasoline
line led to supply issues and choppy availability in retail gas
stations across the region.
The leak, which was discovered on Sept. 9, has released
about 6,000 to 8,000 barrels of gasoline in Shelby County,
Alabama, and thrown the gasoline market into a tizzy in the past
week, with East Coast and futures prices increasing and Gulf
Coast prices weakening significantly.
One of the hardest hit states is Georgia, where prices were
up nearly 6 cents overnight to Monday. The average price of a
gallon of gas in the state is now at $2.316, more than 20 cents
higher than a week ago, according to motorists' advocacy group
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed an executive order on
Monday preventing gas stations from significantly raising their
fuel prices. Many states have allowed for an extension of the
maximum number of hours truck drivers are allowed to drive in
order to deliver gas products to the state.
Gasoline futures gained 9 percent in the week
following the leak, although futures dipped modestly on Monday,
falling 0.3 percent to $1.4569 a gallon in trading.
Colonial still projects a full restart of its damaged
gasoline line, which typically hauls about 1.3 million barrels a
day, by this week. The company is in the midst of constructing a
bypass that circumvents the leak.
Availability of fuel has varied across the region. Gasoline
stations have run out in parts of Tennessee and long lines were
seen in the Nashville area. State governors have called for
citizens to not rush to fill up their tanks.
"There's a very emotional response to the headlines," said
Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData. "So
you see false indicators to demand when people fill up tanks due
to shortage fears and that adds another layer of complexity."
Pump prices in Alabama ticked up to $2.01 on Monday while
prices in Tennessee rose nearly 3 cents to $2.13 from $2.10 on
Sunday, according to the AAA.
Patrick Sheehan of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency
said Middle and East Tennessee have had spotty unavailability
"The Tennessee Petroleum Association has informed us any
unavailability is being resolved in a matter of hours, and often
even if one station is out of fuel, other stations nearby have
fuel available," he said in a statement over the weekend. (bit.ly/2cKlnn9)
Colonial said on Monday it gathered gasoline from Gulf Coast
refiners to transport the fuel on its distillate line to markets
throughout the affected region.
(Reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar in New York; Editing by Bill