Pipeline Shutdown Pushing DE Gas Prices Higher

Look for gasoline prices to increase with the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline. The national average is beginning the week at $2.96 a gallon and Delaware is at $2.88 a gallon but AAA Mid-Atlantic officials expect the price to continue to climb this week. The Colonial Pipeline delivers approximately 45% of all fuel to the East Coast.

Over the weekend, the Colonial Pipeline fell victim to a cybersecurity attack and, as a precaution, shut down the pipeline, which runs from Texas to New York Harbor. At this time, some lateral lines have reopened, but there is no word of when the mainline, including the gasoline line, will be operational. AAA is estimating at increases of three to six cents this week in the Philadelphia, South Jersey and Delaware areas.

“This shutdown will have implications on both gasoline supply and prices, but the impact will vary regionally. Areas including Mississippi, Tennessee and the east coast from Georgia into Delaware are most likely to experience limited fuel availability and price increases, as early as this week,” said Jana L. Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “These states may see prices increase three to seven cents this week.”

The longer the pipeline is offline, the larger the impact on the east coast. However, foreign gasoline imports and other pipelines can supplement Northeastern supply. Other areas of the country will see little impact.