A critical pipeline that supplies to the Southeast has reopened after a major leak, which caused shortages and gas prices to jump in South Carolina and four other states.
The pipeline’s operator Colonial Pipeline said it was able to bypass the link along its line in Alabama. But South Carolina Petroleum Council executive director Bonnie Loomis warned South Carolina Radio Network not expect gas prices to go down for now. She noted the closed section of pipeline was more than 1,000 miles long and will require some time to get back to capacity. And then it will take more time for suppliers to begin using the line again.
“The pricing that we see is still going to reflect that increased cost of getting gas to the consumer,” Loomis said.
She said there will likely continue to be outages in parts of the state, but they should not be as bad as this past week, “particularly in the Upstate where we were having more issues than in the Lowcountry.”
The pipeline leak was discovered Sept. 9 near Helena, Alabama, when workers noticed a strong gasoline odor and sheen on a retention pond. The line operated for another week before the U.S. Department of Transportation ordered its shutdown until repairs could be made. Colonial erected a temporary pipeline this week that it began using on Wednesday.