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Business, Energy, STEM

Colonial Pipeline Does It Again and #Tanksgiving for Your Gas Tank


Since my last post on petroleum related prices, What Causes Gasoline Price Spikes?, there has been a second rupture to the Colonial Pipeline in as many months. However, before we get into that discussion, here’s a bit of good news: GasBuddy has partnered with Corner Store [Ref 1], one of the largest independent retailers of motor fuels and convenience merchandise in North America, to celebrate the start of the holiday season by giving away thousands of gallons of free gas to consumers in various cities across the country during the month of November.

Brand representatives from both companies are planning to surprise drivers who have the free GasBuddy app downloaded and a GasBuddy profile created with upwards of $20 worth of fuel per vehicle at select Corner Store locations. The first Tanksgiving event occurs today in Phoenix, AZ with Denver, CO to follow.

Here are the #Tanksgiving Rules:

  • Must have the GasBuddy app downloaded on your phone and be a GasBuddy member with a profile created.
  • Up to $20 worth of free gas per vehicle.
  • No external containers like buckets, jars, tubs, etc. can be used, just straight up gas into your car.
  • First-come, first-served while supplies last!

Thanks GasBuddy and Corner Stores for showing some love to happy motorists with gas in a few tanks!

On a different topic, the folks at Colonial Pipeline haven’t been so lucky. On Monday, October 31, 2016, a deadly explosion occurred at the company’s pipeline in Shelby County, Alabama, about 35 miles south of Birmingham. The flames sparked a wildfire that burned more than 30 acres and forced people nearby to evacuate. According to WHNT News 19, “The fire was officially contained at 2 a.m. Tuesday morning.”

Company officials say the blast was the result of a worker accidentally hitting the line while doing excavation work for the company. This work was needed to install a permanent repair for the pipeline leak that occurred in September on the same line. Regrettably, the company reports that one (1) person died at the scene.  Four persons remain hospitalized, and another four people were injured but treated and released.


Colonial Pipeline System Map

The pipeline is 52 years old and provides gasoline for more than 50 million people in areas stretching from the gulf coast to New England. It supplies the east coast with 40 percent of its fuel.

Colonial officials report that the diesel pipeline resumed operations on Tuesday, and that the gasoline line is scheduled to restart Saturday, though that could change.  However, several analysts anticipate gas price spikes for several weeks to come. The Wall Street Journal reported that gasoline futures shot up as much as 15% on Tuesday in intra-day trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange after the accident on Monday involving Colonial Pipeline Co. The gains at one point on Tuesday were the biggest intraday move in eight years before narrowing and ending up 4.6%, at $1.484 a gallon.

Looming in the background is the discussion of the U.S.’s aging infrastructure that includes gasoline pipelines. “Some energy observers have warned that outages could become more common because of the country’s aging energy infrastructure and public reluctance—for financial, political or environmental reasons—to build new pipelines,” according to Alison Sider and Nicole Friedman of the Wall Street Journal. “Protesters have clashed with police recently in North Dakota over the building of a nearly 1,200-mile-long oil pipeline.”

In closing, GasBuddy.com is reporting the national average for unleaded gasoline at $2.21 per gallon for today. That’s about 1 ¢ more than yesterday, and 1.3 ¢ higher than last week’s prices.

Until my next post on petroleum and gasoline prices, happy motoring.

Sources Cited:

  1. GasBuddy Partners with Corner Store to Give Away Free Gas in Month-Long ‘Tanks’giving Event, by Allison Mac, November 1, 2016, https://blog.gasbuddy.com/posts/GasBuddy-Partners-with-Corner-Store-to-Give-Away-Free-Gas-in-Month-Long-Tanks-giving-Event/1715-658860-3902.aspx

About Vi Brown

Vi is principal and CEO of Prophecy Consulting Group, LLC, an Arizona firm that provides business and engineering services to private and public clients. Prior to establishing her consulting practice in 2001, Vi worked with Motorola, Maricopa County Government, Pacific Gas & Electric, CH2M Hill, and Procter & Gamble. As an adjunct faculty member, Vi teaches undergraduate calculus classes and graduate level environmental courses. She is also a professional speaker.


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