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There is no gas shortage, yet



Pumping gas

The government shut down a major gasoline pipeline after a cyber attack last week. The Colonial Pipeline was shut down on Friday and operators are currently working on a plan to get it back up with new, enhanced security. While there is no announced timeline the pipeline is expected to come online this week. While the pipeline is down, gasoline tanker drivers are being allowed to work longer hours to offset the need during the shutdown. If the pipeline is unable to come online within a week then the impact will be on gas prices, not supply.

In other words, there will be plenty of gas but it will cost more.

The demand for gasoline remains high nationally and gas prices are rising rapidly, up 6 cents per gallon over last week. In Mississippi, the statewide average reported by AAA shows gas prices at $2.61, up 3 cents from last week. In Vicksburg, gas prices have been observed to be averaging $2.50 to $2.60 a gallon.

Gasoline was $2.59 at the Zips on Fisher Ferry.

AAA is projecting that gas prices will rise to over $3 a gallon this summer and that shortages may occur due to a combination of strongly increased demand and diminished reserves. Refineries nationwide reduced capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown and have not been able to resupply to meet market demand since. That issue should be resolved by the end of 2021, but for now, consumers should anticipate higher gas prices for the summer months.

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