Key pipeline returns to service after Harvey shutdown

Key pipeline returns to service after Harvey shutdown

A major pipeline delivering refined products like gasoline from the Gulf of Mexico to the East Coast has resumed operations after Hurricane Harvey knocked it offline.

Operators of the Colonial Pipeline reported Monday night that its Line 2 had resumed transporting refined oil products from Houston to points east. The company said a portion of its Line 1 pipeline between Houston and Lake Charles, La., came back online on Tuesday.

“We have been working diligently and expeditiously to complete the repair work and restore service following Hurricane Harvey and the unprecedented flooding in the Gulf Coast last week,” the company said in a Monday evening update.

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The Colonial pipeline system is the largest in the country, connecting refineries on the Gulf of Mexico to the Northeast United States. Line 1 can pump about 1.4 million barrels of gasoline per day alone.

The pipeline shut down following Hurricane Harvey, which produced record rainfall and flooding in parts of Texas and Louisiana.

Several energy installations went offline following the storm, including up to one-quarter of total United States refining capacity.

Following extensive production, refining and transportation shutdowns, gasoline prices have spiked around the U.S. The national average gasoline price as of Tuesday morning was $2.65 per gallon, a 20-cent-per-gallon increase from Friday.

Eight refineries, representing 9.6 percent of U.S. refining capacity, have begun the process of restarting, the Energy Department reported on Monday.

—Updated at 5:13 p.m.