At the Colon Colonial Pipeline Mess, tanker trucks come to the rescue

Wednesday night, The colonial pipeline company, which operates the country’s largest pipeline system for refined oil, said the 5,500-mile system had finally been restarted and service would return to normal by the end of the week. It’s been four days since the pipeline went down historic – and scaryransomware attack.

And yet, until Thursday morning, cars were running snakes above and below the east coast around the gas stations, waiting to fill the tanks. Waiting to see if you could tell people something that threatened their petroleum supply Will buy The National Association of Convenience Stores said stations were operating two to four times their normal business on Wednesday, with some retailers clearing about 1,000,000 gallons of gas at a few days’ worth of gas stations in a matter of hours. Jeff Lenard, vice president of the Strategic Industrial Enterprise Association, said it is usually the industry that buys most often around cyclones.

Panic has spread to buying areas that don’t even get their gas from the colonial pipeline: On Wednesday, the association reported improved sales in the south of Florida, Naples, the cargo ship that closed and found petrol.

Industry officials say the closure of the pipeline has caused some supply problems. Petroleum is simply in the wrong place, leading to many gas shortages in retail locations. Over the past few days the oil and gas industry, which has been largely unable to use the pipeline, has turned to other modes of transportation: rail, ship and above all tanker trucks. Lots of tankers Truck.

Typically, tanker trucks are the last component of the long journey from oil paint to refinery to fuel tank. Ships, railways and pipelines operate mostly, supplying gas to distribution terminals scattered across the country. The trucks travel from the distribution terminal to one of the country’s 1,500 gas stations. Due to the pipeline recession and rising demand everywhere, trucks are now changing rapidly and can sometimes travel long distances – according to Ryan Strabolo, interim president of the National Tank Truck, about an additional 60 to 180 miles each time. Career, an industry group.

There are only so many trucks to increase the speed and only a lot of drivers. According to the National Tank Truck Carrier, thousands of petroleum drivers have taken to the streets this week, lifting 8,000 to 11,500 gallons of gas per day. It will be several days before everything at the pump returns to normal.

In an effort to drive gas faster, the federal government has approved region-specific exemptions that typically carry more gas to tanker trucks than safety guidelines allow. It waived a few hours-of-service-rules by allowing drivers to stay on the road longer than usual.

Michael Belzer, an economist at Wayne State University who studies trucking, compares the situation in the oil and gas industry. Kind of supply chain problems Other sectors have experienced plenty of time Covid-19 From the epidemic Toilet paper Per Milk Per Wood. “Like everyone else in the Covid economy, you have supply chain chaos,” he said, adding that money is not the product of what they need. “It takes time to catch a slight increase in demand.”

Petroleum industry officials say it would have been easier to get gas to the right place if there were more tanker truck drivers. Petroleum Carrier Industry Group in April Driver lack alert startedEspecially in light of the forecast of increased demand for gas in the travel-heavy summer months. There are 10 percent fewer drivers in this industry than in 2019, Strabolo said Wednesday. “When you have an interruption in the supply chain, you add to that challenge, and that’s what we’re doing on the East Coast now. Thus, it is further emphasized. “

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