Colonial Pipeline Is Running at Less Than Half of Its Capacity

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Fuel is flowing at less than half the usual rate near the origin of America’s largest petroleum pipeline, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

About 20,000 barrels an hour of gasoline and other refined products were flowing east on the Colonial Pipeline out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Thursday morning, according to the people who asked not to be identified because the information is commercially sensitive.

“Colonial Pipeline has made substantial progress in safely restarting our pipeline system and can report that product delivery has commenced in a majority of the markets we service,” the company told shippers Thursday. “By mid-day today, we project that each market we service will be receiving product from our system.”

A company spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on specific throughput rates on the line.

It’s less than half the system’s capacity from its primary refining sources along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The flow comes after the company announced its restart Wednesday night from a ransomware attack. Hundreds of gas stations in a dozen states throughout the southern U.S. have run out of gasoline amid a rush of panic buying while pipeline was shut down.

Throughput starts outside of Houston at 25,000 barrels an hour and slows from there beyond Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the people said.

The flow represents much less than half of Colonial’s capacity for shipments toward the East Coast and augments product that was already on the lines before the shutdown. Colonial has said each of its markets would be receiving product Thursday.

The Colonial system carries 2.5 million barrels a day from the U.S. refining hub in the Gulf Coast to Greensboro, North Carolina. Another line carries fuel to New York Harbor.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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