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Colonial Pipeline forced to shut main gasoline and distillate lines

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Late on Monday 31 October, Colonial Pipeline was forced to shut its main gasoline and distillate lines in Alabama for the second time in two months after an explosion. It is too early to know what repairs will be required, and how long they would take, but an extended outage would push gasoline futures to a new high for 2016.

As experienced in September, when Colonial Pipeline's main gasoline line was shut down and service was restricted for nearly two weeks, retail prices surged in the Southeast and some stations ran out of fuel. In response to the September disruption, East Coast gasoline supply was drawn down from a more than 26-year high, which diminished the effect on retail prices in Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states. That supply cushion is now gone.

Schneider Electric will closely follow this event, and how it might ultimately affect consumers and businesses.

The Colonial Pipeline runs from Houston, Texas, through the southeast and north, terminating in Linden, New Jersey, collecting gasoline and distillates from refineries in the Houston and Lake Charles, Louisiana, areas. It is a critical supply conduit for the heavily populated East Coast.

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