Oil pipelines not yet running at full strength

By: Gene Petriello Email
By: Gene Petriello Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock; September 15, 2008

AIKEN CTY, S.C. --- No gas is leaving you and some tankers scrambling to get gas to fill up the pumps. The pipelines are back up and running, but their production is not at full strength.

For the first time in days, tankers are going through the tank terminals in North Augusta and leaving with gas. But there are some drivers who are leaving just like they came, on empty. That's causing some frustration.

"It's pretty much a nightmare," says John T, a tanker driver.

He's leaving the plant on Sweetwater Road without gas.

"You have to play musical terminals pretty much, so we just try our best," says John.

A spokesman for Kinder Morgan on Sweetwater Road in North Augusta says their plantation is up and the oil is running through. But some refineries in the Gulf are still without power and the oil flow is not at full strength.

"We do have our own product, but I'm trying to pull someone else's for us as a last resort," says John.

Some tankers are also leaving the Colonial Pipeline tanks on Sweetwater Road with gas, and a spokesman for Magellan says gas is loading up in the tankers.

So, the gas is in some tanks and on some trucks, but prices don't seem to be dropping so fast.

"Our prices at Greg's dropped 30 cents based on a new supply we got today. If that's any indication, then the prices should start coming down," says Steve Johnston with Team One Marketing. "What would help is if people would stop topping off their tanks."

Steve thinks prices could be back to normal within a week.

"I just hope I can get loaded," says John.

As for the oil flow, it all depends on the power being restored in Texas. Once that is done, the refineries can send out their oil production at its normal pace.

As for the price of gas, that's anyone's guess right now. But, as Steve said, he thinks prices should go down to the prices they were pre-Ike within a week or so.

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