Colonial Pipeline said it resumed refinery products flows on Line 2 early on Sept. 15, restoring the major fuel artery to normal operations in the aftermath of Hurricane Nicholas' South Texas landfall.
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Colonial initially shut down both Line 1 and Line 2 from the Houston area because of customers' power outages disrupting supply chains. However, Line 1 was restored later on Sept. 14 and now Line 2 is back up and running as well.
"We have returned to normal operations, based on shipper volume availability, on both main Lines 1 and 2," said Colonial spokesperson Eric Abercrombie. "Colonial Lines 3 and 4 continue to operate normally."
The Colonial Pipeline is the country's primary fuel artery for much of the Southeast and the East Coast. Colonial typically delivers more than 100 million gal/d of fuels. Colonial stretches more than 5,500 miles from the Houston refining hub to New York Harbor, supplying about 45% of all the gasoline and diesel fuel consumed on the US East Coast.
Product typically moves at 3 to 5 mph through the pipeline.
Line 1 carries 1.5 million b/d of gasoline products, while Line 2 moves 885,000 b/d of refined products.
In late August, during Hurricane Ida, Colonial also had temporarily shut Lines 1 and 2 from Houston to Greensboro, North Carolina. As with Nicholas, Colonial's Lines 3 and 4 from North Carolina to New Jersey never ceased operations.
US Atlantic Coast gasoline and diesel inventories are tight, which has already largely been priced into the market, so the quick return to service for Colonial is expected to avoid any major disruptions for New York-delivered NYMEX refined products.
USAC gasoline inventories have fallen 16.6 million barrels since late June to 54.1 million barrels, putting stocks at 15% below the five-year average, US Energy Information Administration data shows.
Nicholas made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane near the eastern part of the Matagorda Peninsula at about 1:30 am EDT on Sept. 14, and has since been downgraded to a tropical depression.