CLEVELAND (WJW)– Industry experts say the shut down a major gas pipeline to the east coast that has caused panic buying leading to gas shortages in some states is not having an impact on fuel supply or prices in Northeast Ohio.
There have been long lines and outages at some gas stations in the Southeast, where panic buying and hoarding is blamed for a run on fuel, combined with a seasonal uptick in demand.
It comes after federal investigators said a Friday cyber attack led to the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, a source of fuel that runs from Texas to New Jersey.
“Panic buying and fuel stockpiling has led to sharp increases in demand in some regional markets, putting added strain on the system,” said Frank Macchiarola, vice president of policy, Economics and Regulatory Affairs for the American Petroleum Institute.
GasBuddy head of petroleum analysis Patrick De Haan told FOX 8 News prices and gasoline supply in Northeast Ohio are not impacted, as refineries and a separate pipeline that supply the region are running strong.
Customers have been asking about potential shortages at some local gas stations, including Wilson Mills Marathon in Highland Heights.
“Currently, there is no shortage on gasoline. There was a small increase in prices, but they’ve leveled back out,” owner Bill Prymas said. “If anything, we should have an abundance of oil currently, but the East Coast will face shortages until the pipeline is back online and working properly.”
Federal officials said portions of the Colonial Pipeline were already restored by Monday with most of the pipeline expected to be operational by the end of this week.
“The industry is working to get these systems back to normal as quickly as possible,” Macchiarola said.
With panic buying causing supply problems, even in states that don’t receive fuel from the Colonial Pipeline, federal authorities warned people against hoarding gasoline.