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Colonial Pipeline to restart distillate lines today after Hurricane

Published by , Senior Editor
World Pipelines,

Colonial Pipeline Co will restart Texas portions of its main distillate and gasoline lines shut by Hurricane Harvey today.

The main distillate line between Houston and Hebert, Texas, is expected to restart by Monday, and the gasoline line between those two points is expected to be in service by Tuesday. The company had initially aimed to restart both its lines by Sunday.

Colonial, which hauls more than 3 million bpd of fuel from the US refining hub in the Gulf Coast to the populous Northeast, said it was forced to shut that segment of its lines last week because of flooding and a lack of supplies due to refinery closures. Hebert is southeast of Beaumont, Texas, one of the coastal communities hard hit by flooding.


The pipeline system includes 15 storage locations and connects to more than 260 fuel terminals, serving seven airports and other facilities.

At least 4 million bpd of refining capacity had been knocked offline as Harvey’s heavy rains hit Texas and Louisiana’s oil and natural gas industry, dropping as much as 50 in. (1.3 m) over the Texas coast in five days.

Colonial’s system east of Lake Charles, Louisiana, continues to operate, but the company has warned that deliveries would be affected by reduced supplies.

About half of the refineries that connect to Colonial’s pipelines are between Houston and Lake Charles, Colonial has said.

In a news release on Sunday, Colonial Pipeline Co. announced that final repairs to the pipeline were underway.

The pipeline runs underground and is now under water in many parts of Texas, where inspections are needed before it can be fully operational again, a spokesman said.

The Georgia-based company remains able to operate its pipeline from Louisiana to states east and northeast of there, though deliveries will be "intermittent," the company said.

“Colonial continues to ship as much gasoline and other refined products as available from Louisiana-based refineries and other refineries on the Colonial system east of Lake Charles, and will continue to do so as markets return to normal,” according to the statement.

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