The re-opening and usage of the Colonial gas pipeline will be delayed by a day and fall to Sunday after the pipe was closed after the Monday Alabama explosion.
The Colonial pipeline is used in order to transport a quantity of 1.3 million barrels every day from its source, the United States Gulf Coast to the country’s Northeast. The quantity accounts to about 40 percent needed by the United States’ East Coast motor fuel requirements.
At 5,500 miles long, the Colonial pipeline is the biggest system of its type and carries jet fuel, diesel, gasoline, and other such refined products into America.
The Southeast area does not house in between Pennsylvania and Alabama any petroleum refinery capable of producing the substantial quantities of needed transportation fuels.
As such, the pipeline is the major fuel source of the area, with any supplementary need being met by marine shipments from the same Gulf Coast or other country imports.
The area saw its gas and refined products supply being cut after a fire broke out on Monday in Alabama-based Shelby County following an explosion. The explosion killed one worker and saw several others injured.
The incident took place several miles from another pipeline issue, namely the gasoline spill which took place earlier in September and interrupted the main Colonial pipeline flow for about 12 days.
As a result of the explosion and the subsequent fires it generated, Colonial Pipeline decided to cut shut down both Line 1 and Line 2.
Line 2, which was shut down as a preventive measure against possible future problems, was re-opened and started to once again transport diesel fuel on Thursday.
The main Colonial pipeline, Line 1 was expected to re-open sometime during Saturday, but company representative announced late Thursday that the line reopening will be delayed by a day. The new predicted restart will be Sunday afternoon.
Following the explosion, an area situated in Birmingham, Alabama caught fire and sent blazing tongues of flames some hundred feet into the air.
According to a previous Colonial Pipeline Co. and to the environmentalists which are keeping the area under observation, the fire was declared to have shrunk considerably in size and to have left behind just a number of small fires.
The same Colonial declaration stated that the remaining fires will be extinguished in the eve of the start of drain-up operations, which will follow after other product removal operations are completed.
The company is planning on installing a new segment that will replace the damaged section of the pipeline and offer a permanent fix to the problem. Following the September leak, Colonial Pipeline set up a bypass line which circumvented the then affected portion of the line.
As reported new information led to a delay in the reopening of the Colonial Pipeline Line 1, the price of U.S. gasoline value registered a drop, whilst analysts expect to see a raise in the cost for customers, albeit smaller than the one caused by the September spill.
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