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BOSTON --(Sept. 26) - The repair last week of Colonial Pipeline's Line #1 and pending recovery of gasoline supply to many eastern states has brought the national average price of gasoline to $2.20/gal.
While that's only a nominal decrease from the $2.21 reported last week, it's a signal that the spikes experienced in most of the states directly impacted by the Colonial Pipeline damage in Alabama (reported Sept. 9th) are clearly receding.
Since the damage occurred Alabama's average peaked at $2.08 and today stands at $2.07. Georgia's average peaked last week at $2.37 and is now $2.35. N. Carolina peaked at $2.22 and is now $2.21. S. Carolina peaked at $2.11 and, fortunately, has slipped to $2.09.
However, Tennessee's and Virginia's state averages remain near peak levels, at $2.16 and $2.10 respectively. Atlanta, the U.S. metro market hit hardest by the damage, saw prices spike by 35 cents reaching a peak average at $2.50 before receding since Thursday to today's $2.45/gal.
"While it appears that the worst may be behind us, we're not out of the woods yet where gasoline inventory levels are concerned," said Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. "Following Hurricane Katrina, gasoline inventory levels two weeks later had shed 3.3 million barrels. The reduction in east coast gasoline inventory tied to the Colonial Pipeline damage is estimated at 8.5 million barrels. The scale of this recovery is unparalleled so we should expect it may be extended for several weeks."
Throughout the rest of the U.S. we have six states today averaging $1.99 or less with Missouri exactly at $2.001 and likely to reach $1.99 or less perhaps later today or tomorrow. Last year at this time, Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee were also at $1.99 or less.
Despite the ColPipe 'turbulence' of recent weeks, consumers should be encouraged that the national average price of gas remains 8 cents lower than last year at this time. Only six states today have an average price of $2.50 or more: HI, $2.82; CA, $2.75; WA, $2.71; AK, $2.60; OR, $2.52; NE, $2.50.