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Gas prices jump six cents on the week, likely to climb higher with pipeline shutdown


AAA forecasts gas prices to climb this week in reaction to the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, which delivers approximately 45 percent of all fuel to the East Coast.

Over the weekend, the Colonial Pipeline announced they were the victim of 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.

“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 Morgan Dean, AAA spokesperson. “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. On the week, the national gas price average jumped six cents to $2.96. If the trend continues, an increase of three more cents would make the national average the most expensive since November 2014 –the last time we saw average prices at $2.99 and higher.

Virginia's average ($2.76) jumped three cents on the week and five cents over last month.

While there is sufficient gasoline supply in the U.S. (235.8 million bbl), other pipelines and the Department of Transportation’s temporary hours-of-service exemption for tanker trucks transporting gasoline and other fuels, will be able to ease the strain, but not resolve the issues caused by the pipeline interruption. Once the pipeline is up and running, there could still be residual delays as it takes about 15–18 days for fuel to flow from Texas to New York.

GAS PRICES FROM AAA:
 
 
 
Today
Weekly Change
Up/Down
Last Month
Last Year
National
$2.96
Up 6 cents
$2.86
$1.84
Virginia
$2.76
Up 3 cents
$2.71
$1.67
Charlottesville
$2.78
Up 2 cents
$2.75
$1.53
Fredericksburg$2.75Up 4 cents$2.67$1.64
Harrisonburg$2.81Up 5 cents$2.72$1.60
Norfolk Area
$2.73
Up 7 cents
$2.66
$1.68
Richmond
$2.75
Up 3 cents
$2.70
$1.67
Roanoke
$2.74
Up 4 cents
$2.64
$1.54
 
Quick Stats
 
The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases: Michigan (+15 cents), Kentucky (+12 cents), Florida (+10 cents), Delaware (+10 cents), Indiana (+10 cents), West Virginia (+9 cents), Utah (+9 cents), Texas (+9 cents), New Jersey (+8 cents) and Pennsylvania (+7 cents). 
 
The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Mississippi ($2.61), Louisiana ($2.64), Texas ($2.66), South Carolina ($2.67), Alabama ($2.68), Oklahoma ($2.70), Missouri ($2.71), Tennessee ($2.71), Arkansas ($2.72) and North Carolina ($2.73). 

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