Disruptions to Colonial Pipeline operations prompted an increase in the average US retail price for regular grade gasoline (retail gasoline price) to $3.03 per gallon (gal) on 17 May, the first time retail gasoline prices averaged more than $3.00/gal since 27 October 2014, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). The average retail gasoline price in the Lower Atlantic (PADD 1C) increased 10 cents/gal from the previous week to $2.88/gal.
The increased retail price for gasoline in the Lower Atlantic resulted from outages at many gas stations in the region, which occurred because of the pipeline disruption that hindered supply and increased purchases of gasoline in response to the station outages.
On 17 May, New England (PADD 1A) and Central Atlantic (PADD 1B) retail gasoline prices averaged $2.93/gal and $3.04/gal, respectively, up 6 cents/gal and 5 cents/gal from the previous week. The Midwest (PADD 2) and Gulf Coast (PADD 3) retail gasoline prices averaged $2.91/gal and $2.78/gal, respectively, up 5 cents/gal and 11 cents/gal from the previous week.
After shutting down on Friday, 7 May, Colonial Pipeline restarted some pipeline operations on Wednesday, 12 May. On Saturday, 15 May, Colonial Pipeline announced that it had returned the system to normal operations. Shipments through Colonial Pipeline move about five miles per hour, so some markets may need to rely on regional inventories until the fuel on the Colonial Pipeline can transit the pipeline.