‘Please, don’t panic,’ experts say there is no gas shortage, urge patience

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The gas pipeline that delivers nearly half of the fuel on the East Coast remains shutdown, reportedly paralyzed by a cyber attack.

The disruption is causing a mad dash to the pump in some parts of the Southeast, including Florida.

We have had several people contact us about long lines at gas stations around the Gulf Coast. We saw long lines all day at the Sam’s Club near I-65 and Airport Boulevard. There’s another gas station around the corner from that gas station, but there were no lines there. Many we spoke with Tuesday afternoon say that the Sam’s Club had the cheapest price for gas they’ve seen.

“I haven’t seen a shortage anywhere. Just long lines because they’ve got it at 2.54 a gallon,” said Timothy Taylor, who was filling up Tuesday.

“They said on the news the prices were going up. I didn’t have any gas anyways and said I needed to get that now,” said Linda Andrews, who was also filling up.

Cars lined up around the Sam’s Club around noon Tuesday, waiting to fill up.

“Just another 10 gallons to give to my daughter,” said Tom Abker.

“This is my third time coming out,” said Wilmer Scott.

Many there said they had seen lines at other gas stations in Mobile. “That’s everywhere I’ve been,” said Andrews. We asked how many she had gone to before ending up at Sam’s Club, “about 5, from Schillinger to down here.”

“There’s just lines all around, that’s what the hold up is,” said Abker.

This, as many blame the rush on gas stations on the attack on the Colonial pipeline, which is the nation’s largest pipeline. It was the victim of a ransomware attack causing it to shut down. The line pumps millions of gallons of gas per day, running from Texas through Alabama, to New Jersey.

According to Petroleum and Convenience Marketers of Alabama, some of the gas on the Gulf Coast does come from that pipeline, but we do have other outlets to get gas from. “At this point, there is no problem as far as refineries being able to produce gasoline and diesel fuel. That hasn’t been impacted at all. The only problem is the distribution of refined gasoline,” said Bart Fletcher, the President of Petroleum and Convenience Marketers of Alabama.

A lot of gas comes from the Chevron Refinery in Pascagoula. They say operations at the Pascagoula Refinery have not been impacted. Truck traffic has increased significantly as they are helping meet the needs of drivers throughout the region. They say they produce about 5 million gallons of gasoline per day, and normally fill 115-125 tanker trucks per day, which supply about 100 local stations.

Chevron’s refining operations in the Gulf Coast are unaffected by the outage of the Colonial pipeline.  We are actively managing fuel supply disruptions related to the Colonial Pipeline outage.  While we continue to work hard to supply our customer network along the U.S. gulf and east coasts, the duration of the outage may lead to limited disruptions in supply in some areas based on current inventory levels at our proprietary terminals and exchange partners, logistics constraints caused by the outage, and customer demand. Providing safe and reliable fuel for our customers remains our top priority. 

Statement from Chevron on the Colonial Pipeline

Many we spoke with say they have not seen a shortage of gas in Mobile, but are going ahead and gassing up just in case. “No, I don’t think there’s a gas shortage, but I don’t want to be caught in the cold without gas,” said Scott.

“I think it’s all just a panic, again our government is good at all of that,” said Abker.

Experts are urging people to not rush out and buy gas. “Please don’t panic. Continue your normal buying habits,” said Fletcher.

Governor Kay Ivey’s office released a statement saying there is currently no shortage of gas in Alabama, she urges everyone to fill up only if needed and to not fill up multiple containers.

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