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GEMA releases statement on fuel shortage


     Many Pickens gas stations, like one on Highway 53 West pictured above, are low or completely out of supply.

     Georgia residents are being urged not to panic or create a "run on the pumps." Many Pickens County gas stations are reporting that they are either low or completely out of supply. See a statement from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency on the status of repair of the gas pipeline that ruptured in Alabama on Sept. 9.

Message from Georgia Emergency Management Agency:

On Friday, September 9th in Shelby, Alabama a leak was discovered in the Colonial Pipeline (Line 1) that provides gasoline to the region. The flow of gasoline in line 1 was suspended pending repairs. It was anticipated that the repairs would be complete by the end of last week, however, work was temporarily delayed due to weather. Our leg of Line 1 is expected to be put back into service sometime next week.

To minimize potential supply disruptions caused by the interruption to Line 1, Colonial Pipeline has executed a contingency plan to move gasoline on Line 2, which normally carries distillate such as diesel, jet fuel and home heating oil to points north. The origination of gasoline into Line 2 has begun, and Line 1 has been restarted upstream of the impacted segment and is operating from Houston to western Alabama. Fuel shippers have also begun to implement contingency plans to further mitigate potential disruption to their operations. For example, other segments of the fuel delivery system are executing contingency plans, such as dispatching waterborne cargoes from the Gulf Coast to markets along the eastern seaboard.

Earlier this week the Governor’s Office issued an Executive Order allowing bulk petroleum drivers to extend driving hours for trucks transporting the summer blend of fuel into the 13 metro counties under this EPA restriction. The summer blend requirement ended yesterday and now winter blend is being delivered into the State. The Georgia Petroleum Council has advised that they have been stockpiling winter blend and are in reasonably good shape for the short term. There is a possibility that unbranded gas suppliers who buy gas on the spot market may run in to some limited shortages before the line is fully restored. This includes retailers like QT and Kroger. Contract stations (those affiliated with major oil companies – BP, Shell, etc) could potentially be placed on allocation, however, major shortages are not anticipated at this time. Industry personnel are monitoring supplies and considering whether a driving time exception is necessary for transporters of winter blend..