Analyst: Lowcountry shouldn't see huge spike in gas prices after pipeline explosion

Analyst: Lowcountry shouldn't see huge spike in gas prices after pipeline explosion
No gas, no lines - Pic by Debi Chard
An explosion at Colonial Pipeline Line 1 killed one person and injured five others Monday. (Source: WBRC)
An explosion at Colonial Pipeline Line 1 killed one person and injured five others Monday. (Source: WBRC)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Prices at Lowcountry gas pumps may see a brief rise after a pipeline explosion in Alabama, but the impact should be short-lived, a petroleum analyst says.

Gregg Lakoski, a senior petroleum analyst, said consumers could expect a rise of about a nickel per gallon by Saturday after a deadly blast at a Colonial Pipeline in Shelby County, Alabama on Monday.

The explosion killed one and injured five others. Officials with Colonial Pipeline said a nine-member contract crew working on their Line 1 gasoline pipeline "experienced an incident when the track hoe it was operating hit the pipeline causing a fire." That crew, officials said, was doing routine maintenance in connection with a gasoline leak on that same pipeline that caused gas price hikes and shortages at stations in several states in September.

Lakoski said Colonial officials announced Pipeline 1 is expected to be returned to service by noon on Saturday and that Pipeline 2 is already back in service, though at limited capacity.

"That's good news for Alabama and certainly good news for just about everybody," Lakoski said.

As of Wednesday morning, the lowest per-gallon price in the Lowcountry area was $1.85, recorded at gas stations in North Charleston and Walterboro, according to GasBuddy. The highest appeared to be $2.11, recorded at stations in Charleston and Mount Pleasant.

"I don't think you're going to see much of a spike in prices," Lakoski said. "If there is, I think it might be something around five cents a gallon between now and Saturday, nothing close to what we saw last month."

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