Charleston tanker terminals see increase in gas truckers

VIDEO: Charleston tanker terminals see increase in gas truckers
Unleaded Plus outage at the Raceway gas station on Ashley Phosphate (Source: Live 5)
Unleaded Plus outage at the Raceway gas station on Ashley Phosphate (Source: Live 5)

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Areas of the Lowcountry aren't seeing major effects when it comes to gas outages or pricing, because of the pipeline burst in Alabama.

Gas stations in the greater Charleston area Tuesday saw prices hovering around $1.99 for a regular gallon of gas, and few to any outages.

"I saw the gas prices and everywhere else was $1.99 so I figured I'd jump here," said Harriette Spann.

"­Alabama hasn't impacted us yet here," said Zachary Selby, who's not worried. "Gas prices are still relatively low so at this point there's been no impact."

Employees at the Raceway gas station on Ashley Phosphate said they had run out of regular gas twice since Friday, but were able to refill quickly.

When asked how often they receive a shipment, the employee said it all depends on how much gas the tanker was bringing, whether it's a full load or a half. The gas station usually gets a delivery daily or every other day.

According to, the state average sits at $2.10 for a regular gallon of gas as of Tuesday afternoon; increasing an average of five-cents since Monday.

"I'm very nervous," Spann said. "All I can do is gas up whenever I see something with a low price. That's the best I can do for now."

The executive director of the South Carolina Petroleum Council, Bonnie Loomis, said this method isn't always the best, because it can put a stress on supplies and could contribute to shortages.

"I think long term gas prices in South Carolina have been pretty low, and I think that's going to continue," Selby said.

Governor Nikki Haley said she has a team of eight people out across the state monitoring the gas prices and outages. So far she hasn't been made aware of any price gauging or major outages.

"Everybody has gas coming in and fuel as they need it," she said Tuesday. "If it's out it's just a delay. What we are seeing is because they've had to do this bypass, transportation is having to come in different ways, so you will see up to a 30% increase on some of those."

South Carolina gas stations that might be affected by the Alabama pipeline break are largely in the northwest part of the state along the Interstate 85 corridor.

Loomis said large sections of the rest of the state get gasoline brought into Charleston on tanker ships, which is why the Lowcountry may not see major impacts.

As of Monday, the pipeline company is increasing truck shipments to gasoline terminals in the northwest part of the state.

Tanker trucks could be seen lining Virginia Avenue in North Charleston Tuesday at the Buckeye Partners terminal.

David Boone, a spokesman for the company, said they have, "expanded their activities to address the needs of additional customers and communities in [the southeast and mid-Atlantic areas of the United States] having issues with the supply of petroleum products."

A trucker from Spartanburg said he waited two hours to get to the entrance of the terminal to get his tank filled.

Buckeye Partners and Kinder-Morgan are the two terminals that receive tanker ships carrying gasoline to the Charleston ports.

Executive Director John Cameron of the Charleston Harbor Pilots said a new tanker shipment was unexpectedly added to the schedule Wednesday.

"It's not unusual for a ship to divert from its original destination," Cameron said. "This could be the first of others, and we're anticipating more."

Cameron added these shipments are because of the complications with the Colonial Pipeline. He added the Charleston Harbor is able to handle the influx of barges coming in, and crews are prepared.

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