Gas prices still rising as Colonial Pipeline resumes operations

Photo (c) Extreme Media - Getty Images

Shortages in southeastern states may linger for several days

Even though the Colonial Pipeline has started moving again after being shut down for six days by a cyberattack, gasoline prices are still rising. However, they’re not climbing as quickly as before.

The AAA Fuel Gauge Survey shows that the national average price of regular is $3.04 a gallon, 9 cents higher than last Friday but only a penny more than Thursday. The average price of premium gas is $3.62, up eight cents a gallon in the last week. The average price of diesel fuel is $3.16 a gallon, six cents more than a week ago.

Fuel prices in the Colonial Pipeline service area -- mostly the Southeast and mid-Atlantic states -- have stabilized after spiking in Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Many gas stations in those states ran out of gas when panicked consumers began topping off their tanks.

States outside Colonial’s service area have seen only modest price increases this week. None have faced fuel shortages.

“The restart of the pipeline is very positive news for motorists,” said Jeanette McGee, a AAA spokesperson. “While impact won’t be seen immediately and motorists in affected areas can expect to see a few more days of limited fuel supply, relief is coming. Station pumps will be full of fuel in several days. This is an especially good update ahead of the Memorial Day holiday.”

Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, predicts that supplies in affected areas will be back to normal by the Memorial Day weekend in two weeks. He reported that North Carolina was the hardest-hit state as of mid-day Thursday, with nearly 70% of its stations completely out of fuel. Only 1% of New Jersey stations were without gas.

The states with the most expensive gas

These states currently have the highest prices for regular gas, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Survey:

  • California ($4.12)

  • Hawaii ($3.85)

  • Nevada ($3.56)

  • Washington ($3.52)

  • Oregon ($3.36)

  • Utah ($3.34)

  • Alaska ($3.28)

  • Illinois ($3.25)

  • Idaho ($3.21)

  • Arizona ($3.14)

The states with the cheapest regular gas

The survey found these states currently have the lowest prices for regular gas:

  • Louisiana ($2.70)

  • Mississippi ($2.71)

  • Texas ($2.74)

  • Arkansas ($2.75)

  • Missouri ($2.76)

  • Oklahoma ($2.78)

  • Minnesota ($2.81)

  • Alabama ($2.82)

  • North Dakota ($2.82)

  • South Carolina ($2.85)

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