Gov. Nikki Haley said despite a fuel pipeline leak in Alabama that has affected several states in the Southeast, South Carolina is getting a regular supply of gas as of Tuesday.
Haley said Tuesday morning that she had a conference call with suppliers and reported that fuel is coming in at a regular basis like it always has. Haley asked South Carolina motorists to purchase gas as normal to keep the supply regular.
“The panic that is setting in is not helping the situation, because that’s causing them to sell gas at a faster pace than they would normally sell it,” she said.
Colonial Pipeline reported it created a temporary bypass Tuesday after a leak was discovered Sept. 9 in the pipeline near Birmingham, Ala.
The pipeline supplies much of the East Coast with fuel from refineries in Texas and Louisiana, according to AAA Carolinas.
Colonial Pipeline was testing the bypass, which is about 500 feet in length, Tuesday afternoon to ensure its structural integrity.
The company stated on its website it projects that the pipeline will restart Wednesday, though it will take several days for the fuel delivery supply chain to return to normal.
“Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions,” the company reported.
Haley said state officials have not seen any price gouging yet, though customers may see an increase of up to 30 cents per gallon due to the pipeline bypass.
She said some cities that border North Carolina, such as Fort Mill and Lancaster, are seeing shortage due to North Carolinians crossing the state line to find fuel.
Haley said she has eight inspectors checking for shortages and keeping an eye on prices.
“Everybody has gas coming in and fuel as they need it,” she said. “If it’s out, it’s just a delay. It’s just a matter before it comes in.”
The average price for a gallon of regular gas in Columbia sat at about $2.07 Tuesday afternoon, though some stations reported prices as low as $1.81 , according to gasbuddy.com. Though prices were up about 6 cents compared to last month’s average, it was still down about 8 cents compared last year’s average.
The Colonial Pipeline delivers more than 100 million gallons of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, home heating oil and fuel for the military every day between Houston and New York City, according to the company’s website.
The pipeline system consists of more than 5,500 miles of underground pipe and above ground storage tanks and pump stations.