PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The Colonial Pipeline is again delivering gasoline to all of its customers along its 5,500-mile route, but the prices the temporary shutdown and panic buying produced won’t disappear so soon.
From the time the pipeline was taken offline on Friday until Thursday morning, the average price for a gallon of gas in the United States increased by 7 cents, according to AAA. In Virginia, the average price for a regular gallon of gas went up by nearly 20 cents in a week, from $2.70 to $2.88.
“It’s been a bit of a perfect storm,” said Holly Dalby, spokesperson with AAA Tidewater.
Dalby said that the cyber attack that shut down the pipeline only compounded distribution issues already facing the petroleum industry. A shortage of tanker truck drivers has slowed the delivery to fuel stations.
Gas pumps are seeing more customers every day.
“The last two months, we have been seeing prices rise because as we are coming out of the pandemic, people are being vaccinated, they are starting to travel, demand is just naturally driving prices up,” Dalby said.
She says that’ll continue into the summer. However, she says there might be a slight reprieve when people stop buying gas to just store it.
“AAA is expecting that prices will start to steady and probably decline a little bit,” Darby said. “Hoarding fuel, filling up lots of gas cans to keep at home without the need for that, has actually made it worse for everyone.”
She doesn’t think prices will ultimately drop more than 10 cents a gallon going into Memorial Day weekend.