A section of the pipeline that carries gasoline from the Gulf Coast to North Carolina has reopened, nearly a week after it was shut down in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
Colonial Pipeline Co. said that its pipeline that carries gasoline from Houston to Lake Charles, La., was restarted Tuesday afternoon. From Lake Charles, the pipeline continues toward the Northeast, with terminals in Greensboro and Selma.
Colonial had kept its pipelines open east of Lake Charles, but said at times that the flow of gasoline was “intermittent,” as refineries worked to come back on line after the hurricane. The reopening of the line in Texas should increase the flow of fuel to the Northeast.
Gas prices in North Carolina have risen each day since Hurricane Harvey came ashore in Texas as a Category 4 storm on Aug. 25. The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded in the Triangle early Tuesday morning was $2.601, up less than 2 cents from the day before and nearly 36 cents from a week ago, according to AAA.
The average price per gallon in North Carolina was $2.62, the highest since July 14, 2015, AAA said.
“The summer driving season is officially over, and typically this is when gas prices start their decline as demand goes down and the switch over to the lesser expensive winter blend of fuel takes place,” said Tiffany Wright, spokeswoman for AAA Carolinas. “Unfortunately the effects from Hurricane Harvey will slow this process.”
At its peak, Harvey shuttered about 27 percent of the country’s refining capacity. None of the Gulf Coast refineries have returned to normal production, according to AAA, but at least four are operating at reduced rates and others are in the process of restarting.
The Triangle receives most of its gasoline and diesel from the Gulf Coast.