There’s no need to hoard gasoline like it’s toilet paper, two state officials said on Tuesday, as a touch of gasoline panic appeared to take hold in the public.
It follows the ransomware attack which led to a temporary shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline. That supply is expected to be back in business by the end of the week.
“In a normal week, less than 30 percent of Mississippi’s fuel comes from the Colonial Pipeline,” Gov. Tate Reeves said on social media. “The vast majority of our fuel (over 70 percent) comes from at least five other sources, both in and out of state, including the Pascagoula Refinery. Also, necessary state and federal action has already occurred to allow longer hours for fuel to be delivered by tanker.”
He encouraged residents to buy their normal level of weekly gasoline.
“If everyone takes this approach, this will be behind us with minimal impact,” said Reeves.
Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson also encouraged restraint. The Plantation Pipeline, another pipeline running through the state, is working to accommodate added supply on its pipeline, he said. The Chevron Pascagoula Refinery, one of the largest refining operations in the country located on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, is unaffected by the Colonial outage. The Chevron Pascagoula Refinery is continuing to supply its customer network along the U.S. East Coast, Gipson said, and is managing fuel supply chain disruptions caused by the outage of the Colonial Pipeline.
Gipson recommends people limit unnecessary travel and purchase fuel only as needed.
“Unfortunately, gas prices have been on the rise, and we expect this will further contribute to price increases at the pump,” he said. “However, we anticipate any local price increases felt by consumers will not be the result of lack of supply but rather are related to additional shipping costs incurred with picking up product in markets outside of the routine contract area due to the disruption.”
Prices in Corinth on Tuesday afternoon were observed to be as high as $2.69 per gallon for regular gasoline. During the late afternoon, several stations were doing a brisk business, but there were no lines.
The Colonial Pipeline is the largest refined products pipeline in the U.S., transporting more than 100 million gallons of fuel daily.